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Sunday, 9 November 2014

Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp (1887 – 1968) was a French artist whose work is most often associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. He first achieved fame when his painting, Nude Descending a Staircase was displayed at an ‘Armory Show’ in New York City. The work was labelled as America’s first look at modern art. Critics called the work “scandalous” and “meaningless.”

A playful man, Duchamp challenged conventional thought about artistic processes through subversive actions such as putting everyday items like a bicycle wheel mounted on a kitchen stool on display. Half a century later, this approach would be called conceptual art, though he himself used the term 'ready-mades' for his ideas.

Duchamp ostensibly gave up art in the early twenties, devoting himself to chess, which he studied for the rest of his life to the exclusion of most other activities.

During World War II, Duchamp passed through Nazi checkpoints in occupied Paris and smuggled out art materials by pretending to be a cheese merchant.

Source Some of this was obtained from my entry for Songfacts.com

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