Genius, anti-artist, charlatan, guru, impostor? Since he arrived on the scene in 1914, Marcel Duchamp has been called all of these. Almost no other artist of the twentieth century has inspired more passion and controversy, nor exerted a greater influence on art. At the same time, Duchamp continually challenged the very nature of art and strove to redefine it as conceptual rather than as product by questioning why the medium was mostly a “retinal” experience.
Always the provocateur, Duchamp never ceased to be engaged, openly or secretly, in activities and works that transformed traditional artmaking. Through his works like Fountain; Bicycle Wheel; L.H.O.O.Q.; and Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2, Duchamp played with the idea of what art can be, opening new possibilities for future generations.
This revised entry in the World of Art series, written by three leading experts on twentieth-century art, and published with support of Duchamp’s widow, is one of the most original books written on this enigmatic artist. Featuring a new chapter and preface, as well as updates throughout from specialist scholars who are active in their fields, this is the definitive introduction to Duchamp. Thoroughly illustrated, this volume combines thirty years of research by the authors and challenges history’s presumptions, misunderstandings, and pieces of misinformation about Marcel Duchamp and his legacy.
Dawn Ades is a professor emerita of the history and theory of art at the University of Essex. She has written extensively on Dada, Surrealism, photography, and women artists, among other things. Her many books also include in the World of Art series Dalié and, with Neil Cox and David Hopkins, Marcel Duchamp.
Neil Cox is a professor of modern and contemporary art at the University of Edinburgh. His books include Cubism and The Picasso Book, and he has written numerous essays connecting art and philosophical ideas.
David Hopkins is a professor of art history at the University of Glasgow. His previous books include: Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst: The Bride Shared, Dada’s Boys: Masculinity after Duchamp, and A Companion to Dada and Surrealism.