Monday, May 7, 2012

In the Beginning: Marcel Duchamp

Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2 - 1912

Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) painted little after completing the iconic work shown above. Instead, he focused on playing chess, advising art collectors and creating non-art assemblages that he claimed were art, setting the stage for all that wonderful Postmodernism we've been subjected to for the past 50 years.

But his past, those pre-"Nude" days, are largely terra incognita so far as Standard Narrative Art History is concerned. Perhaps that's because it might damage Duchamp's reputation if

this image was widely known and associated with his name.

What you see is a detail of the painting below.

Portrait d'Yvonne Duchamp-Villon née Bon - 1907

I spotted it recently while visiting the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida.

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