Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) was one of an artistic French family, a brother and a sister also being painters and another brother a sculptor. He began his career in 1909, and by 1913 had experimented with all the contemporary artistic themes, arriving at a form of cubistic futurism, evidenced in Nude descending a staircase, which was shown in New York where Duchamp had recently settled. Meeting Picabia two years later led to the two men creating the Dada movement which rebelled against the insanity of war. Duchamp worked for eight years on a work painted on glass and decorated with bits of cut-out tin, then ceased painting altogether, moving to the creation of "ready-mades", objects made by chance association. His ideas helped motivate the surrealists of the 1920s.

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