August 31, 2014

"Readymade@100" Opens Sept. 6

At some point last week, while laying out the 61 works that will be in my Readymade@100 show I had the brilliant idea of using Duchamp's "Large Glass"(1) as a template for placement of our multifarious works. If you are familiar with the "Glass" you may recall a kind of half-arch, or "post-and-lintel-minus-one," in the upper portion known as "The Bride's Domain." In a moment of tenacious reverence for "all things Duchamp," I envisioned the Katzen Arts Center's semicircular, south end of the ground floor, embodying the "Draft Pistons or Nets" and "The Bride" and her ""Sex Cylinder," being composed of Mazin Abdelhameid's "#FOUND," John Perrault's "Something Stolen by Mark Cameron Boyd or someone he designates," Renee Regan's "Balance of Dignity and Desire," Chris Chernow's "Tensions," Vanessa Niederstrasser's "Just Picked," Alex Mayer's "Untitled #2" and Christian Meade's "Smith."

This brainstorm came to an abrupt and resolute end when I realized that the lower portion of the "Glass" would require something like twelve pedestals to represent the "Nine Malic Molds," not to mention the erstwhile "Chocolate Grinder."

Perhaps someone will make another attempt at this in 2114?

In any case, please do come to our opening this Saturday, September 6th, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the Katzen. I am certain you will be astounded, amused and in awe of what Duchamp hath wrought in one hundred years.

IMAGE: MCB's "Installation Map" with numeric locations corresponding to the master "By Orders" listing of where the sixty-one artworks are to be placed. 

1. The official title, "The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even," became known as "The Large Glass." The original version, with broken glass, sits in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In 1966, British artist Richard Hamilton created a replica of the "Glass," with instructions and guidance from Duchamp, and they both agreed, according to Duchamp's biographer, Calvin Tomkins, that it "was as close as anyone could come to the way it had looked before the glass was broken." Both Duchamp and Hamilton signed it as a joint work and it's in the Tate Modern collection in London.

July 9, 2014

"Readymake" in 3D

"However, in the 1920s, [Duchamp] left the art world behind -- and took up chess in some form or another, and stayed with it for the rest of his life, first aspiring to become a champion player and then, when he realised he didn't have the skill, becoming a chess journalist. It was during this time that he carved his own chess set. This was not for production, but for his own pleasure, and only one set was made; currently, it resides in a private collection, unseen by the public. But photos of it can be found, and it was by using one of these that artists Scott Kildall and Bryan Cera managed to recreate the set through 3D printing.
"The idea was not only to rebuild the lost objects, but to release open-source digital files to be 3D-printed by anyone interested in resurrecting the objects for themselves," Cera wrote. "In homage to the original set's owner, we decided to call this kind of re-animated, re-configured and re-claimed object a 'Readymake'."

June 15, 2014

"C'est arrive malgre moi” (Who's your Daddy?)

Undoubtedly, Marcel Duchamp can be easily positioned as the “Father of Conceptual Art” and all of its myriad trajectories and continuing artist offspring.

However, it is a little known fact that Duchamp did have one child - not with Alexina “Teeny” Sattler but with Jeanne Serre in 1911. 

Because Jeanne was a married woman, the birth of their illegitimate daughter, Yvonne "Yo" Sermayer, was kept secret. But Duchamp stayed involved in Yo’s life, even later organizing an exhibit of her artwork in New York City in 1967.(1)


1. Cros, Caroline. Marcel Duchamp, London, 2006, 109 and 184. (See also The Private Worlds of Marcel Duchamp