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Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp (July 28, 1887 - October 2, 1968) was a French artist born Henri-Robert-Marcel Duchamp in Blainville-Crevon, Normandy, France who came from an artistic family. Of the six children of Eugene and Lucie Duchamp, four would become successful artists. Marcel Duchamp was the brother of:

Living and working in a studio in Montparnasse, Marcel Duchamp's early works were Post-Impressionist in style but he would become perhaps the most influential of the Dada artists. A student at the Académie Julian, his influence is still strongly felt to this day by contemporary artists.

At his eldest brother Jacques' home, in 1911 Marcel and other brother Raymond organized a regular discussion group with artists and critics such as Francis Picabia, Robert Delaunay[?], Fernand Leger and others that soon was dubbed the Puteaux Group.

In 1912, he painted "Nude Descending a Staircase," in which motion was expressed by successive superimposed images, as in motion pictures. He was one of the first artists to use found objects as the basis for his artworks. His work "Fountain" consisted mostly of a ceramic urinal. His work "In advance of a broken arm" consisted of an old snow shovel. Another displayed a bicycle wheel.

He travelled to the United States where his circle of friends included Katherine Dreier[?] and Man Ray, with whom he founded the Société Anonyme in 1920, as well as Louise[?] and Walter Arensberg[?], Beatrice Wood and fellow Frenchman, Francis Picabia, plus other avant-garde figures. Marcel Duchamp created a scandal at the Armory Show in New York City in 1913 with the celebrated "Nude Descending a Staircase." It was at that show that he met the Dadaist painter Jean Crotti who later married his sister Suzanne.

Marcel Duchamp expressed his radical art by taking mass-produced objects such as a bottle rack or a snow shovel and designating them as sculpture. At the 1917 Independents exhibition in New York, the Jury rejected his entrance of a urinal as not being art but he was staunchly defended by Beatrice wood who said: "The only works of art America has given are her plumbing and her bridges."

After 1923 he devoted much of his time to chess but from the mid-1930s onwards he collaborated with the Surrealists and participated in their exhibitions. Duchamp settled permanently in New York in 1942. From then until 1944, together with Max Ernst and André Breton, he edited the surrealist periodical "VVV", in New York.

The last surviving member of the Duchamp family artists, in 1967, in Rouen, France, Marcel helped organize an exhibition called "Les Duchamp: Jacques Villon, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Marcel Duchamp, Suzanne Duchamp." Some of this family exhibition was later shown at the Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris.

Marcel Duchamp died in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France and is buried in the Rouen Cemetery, in Rouen, Normandy, France.



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