Words of Wisdom from Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp was a maverick of invention, a revolutionary artist, a visionary master who is responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture during the early decades of the twentieth century. This French-American artist, born in 1887, had an immense and tangible influence on all art forms in the modern and postmodern era, always existing on the cutting edge of the avant-garde from Cubism to Dada. In particular, Duchamp had a seminal impact on conceptual art. Memorable pieces include his shocking painting Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 from 1912, his outrageous ready-made Fountain from 1917, and his fabulous gender-bending alter ego Rrose Sélavy. Duchamp is also known for his love of chess and his buoyant sense of humor. Therefore, he is an excellent source for inspirational wisdom and comical sayings, below are a few quotes from this brilliant and radical artist.
“A painting that doesn’t shock isn’t worth painting.”
“I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste.”
“All in all, the creative act is not performed by the artist alone…the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.”
“Art is either plagiarism or revolution.”
“Humor and laughter—not necessarily derogatory derision—are my pet tools. This may come from my general philosophy of never taking the world too seriously—for fear of dying of boredom.”
“Marcel, no more painting; go get a job.”
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