Marcel Duchamp

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From the December 13, 1936 Brooklyn Daily Eagle:

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In 1968, Marcel Duchamp, urinal repurposer and chess enthusiast, was interviewed by the BBC.


A segment about Marcel Duchamp and his unfinished meta-machine¬†The Large Glass from Robert Hughes’ excellent 1982 program,¬†The Shock of the New.

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Marcel Duchamp, that famed finder of urinals, explains the concept of the ready-made. (Thanks Documentarian.)


Beatrice Wood came to art late but with gusto. (Thanks Documentarian.)

From Michael Kimmelman’s 1999 remembrance of Wood in the New York Times: “The time is summer 1917, the place, Coney Island. Beatrice Wood is seated on a fake ox while behind her, in an oxcart, against a painted backdrop, sit Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia. They have come from the roller coaster. ‘With Marcel’s arm around me,’ Wood recalled years later, ‘I would have gone on any ride into hell with the same heroic abandon as a Japanese lover standing on the rim of a volcano ready to take a suicide leap.’ In the photograph she looks more queasy than lovestruck, clutching her hat as if afraid it might still blow off.

Wood, who died this year a few days after her 105th birthday, flirtatious to the end, became a potter of luminescent talent, having taken up ceramics in her 40’s when she failed to find a teapot to match some plates she had bought in Holland. Her fame, which mostly came later in life, stemmed from a combination of her art, her longevity and her sheer verve.

When she was born, Cezanne was still a little-known painter and Grover Cleveland was President. When she died, she was, in a sense, just coming into her own, having had a full-scale museum retrospective in New York City a year earlier and having been named a ‘living treasure’ by the Governor of California a couple of years before that. Through a friend she’d lately been introduced to a film director who decided to base a character in a new movie on her. The director was James Cameron. The character was Rose in Titanic.

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