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Duchamp Essay Essay

Artists are influenced by different artworks and artists but Marcel Duchamp is believed to be a major twentieth-century artist and have played a big role in the art world. ‘The concept of art, and the course of art history, was irreversible changed as a consequence’ (of ‘Fountain’) (Podstolski) He changed the ideas about the traditional nature of art when he entered his work Fountain in 1919 using the name Mr R. Mutt to the Society of Independent Artists Exhibition, New York. It was refused entry, but Duchamp argued the case – ‘Whether Mr Mutt with his own hands made the Fountain or not… he CHOSE it.

He took an ordinary article of life, placed it so that it’s useful significance disappeared under a new title and point of view – (he) created a new thought for that object. ’ His ‘ready-mades’ lead to new possibilities such as non-art materials and ideas about the conceptual basis of artworks. Society began accept these new materials and ideas about art which helped Robert Rauschenberg create is Combines, which was his term for his technique of attaching cast-off items, such as tires or old furniture, to a traditional support.

Bed’ is one of Rauschenberg’s first Combines and is a well-worn pillow, sheet, and quilt, scribbled on them with pencil, and splashed them with paint, in a style reminiscent of Abstract Expressionism. These bedclothes are supposably Rauschenberg’s own, thus making this as personal as a self-portrait, or more so – a quality consistent with Rauschenberg’s statements, “painting relates to both are and life… (I try to act in that gap between the two).

The Pop Art movement and the work of Andy Warhol were arguable prefigured and enabled by the Conceptual Art of Marcel Duchamp. Duchamp observed: ‘What is interesting about Warhol is not the retinal image of the man who paints 50 soup cans, but of the man who has the idea to paint 50 soup cans. ’ With the ‘Readymades,’ Duchamp radically destabilised notions of what are is and, in raising the mass produced form to the dignity of an art object, he provided an opening for the ‘low’ subject matter which constituted Pop Art.

Duchamp was Iconoclastic, which has led to the freedom of modern artists such as Ai Weiwei. ‘Feet’ is an example of Weiwei’s art of reclamation and transformation of round objects – in this case, stone shards of feet the remains of Buddhist statuary from the Northern Wei and Norther Wei and Northern Qui dynasties. China is littered with the remains of pillaged statuary, with much of this destruction occurring during periods of dynastic change in China as new regimes ttempted to remove all traces of the cultural and aesthetic achievements of former powers. Ai questions how we apportion value to cultural objects. Duchamp’s artistic exchange of ideas and influences have profoundly affected the art world, and if it wasn’t for the Avant-garde of his early experimentations with modernist painting techniques through to his involvement with dada then we may not have as much freedom as we do in art today.


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