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Drawing on Art

Drawing on Art: Duchamp and Company

Dalia Judovitz
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    Drawing on Art
    Book Description:

    Drawing on Art explores the central importance of appropriation, collaboration, influence, and play in Marcel Duchamp’s work to show how the concept of art itself became the critical fuel and springboard for questioning art’s fundamental premises. Dalia Judovitz argues that rather than simply negating art, Duchamp’s readymades and later works demonstrate the impossibility of defining art in the first place.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-7363-6
    Subjects: Art & Art History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. Introduction: Drawing on Art and Artists
    (pp. xv-xxx)

    The titleDrawing on Artseems at first sight a bit puzzling, given its competing literal and figurative meanings. Does it mean defacing works of art, as Marcel Duchamp did in his readymadeL.H.O.O.Q.(1919) by adding a delicately drawn moustache and a goatee to a commercial reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’sMona Lisa(c. 1503–1506)? Or does the appeal to this literal gesture not preclude and indeed playfully coexist with the figurative meaning of this expression that would suggest treating art as an idea in order to draw inspiration from it?¹ The iconoclasm and Dadaist spirit of revolt...

  6. 1 Critiques of the Ocular: Duchamp and Paris Dada
    (pp. 1-56)

    Critical discussions of the Paris Dada movement often tend to relegate it to the margins of art history, as a period of transition leading to the emergence of Surrealism. In his catalog to the seminal exhibition Dada, Surrealism, and Their Heritage, William S. Rubin remarked, “Paris Dada is important primarily as the formative environment of the men and ideas that would soon constitute Surrealism.” Considered as a coda to the Dada movement, despite the fact that in effect it represented Dada’s “final chapter,” Paris Dada was regarded as a period when a now “moribund” Dada was transformed into a new...

  7. 2 The Spectacle of Film: Duchamp and Dada Experiments
    (pp. 57-100)

    The origins of Dada were multiple; so were its endings. The numerous signs of its putative demise were staged in the midst of the activities that characterized the Paris Dada movement in 1922–1923. According to Elmer Peterson, the attempts to kill off Dada were many, one of the most notable being André Breton’s failed attempt in 1992 to organize the Congrès de Paris, an international meeting whose aim was to provide intellectual direction and defense for the modern spirit.¹ This initiative to legislate the meaning of modernity by a committee of non-Dadaists whose charge was “to determine what was...

  8. 3 Endgame Strategies: Art, Chess, and Creativity
    (pp. 101-146)

    Marcel Duchamp’s artistic career has often confounded both his admirers and critics. His rapid passage through different pictorial idioms led him to leave painting largely behind by 1913, and in 1923 it culminated in his supposed abandonment of art in favor of chess.¹ Duchamp’s artistic career started in 1910 when he began to publicly exhibit paintings whose representational character reflected the influence of Paul Cézanne and of the Fauvists. This figurative dimension was quickly supplanted by experiments with Cubist-like abstraction and mechanomorphic figures. By 1913 Duchamp had begun to put both painting and conventional art into question. His experiments with...

  9. 4 Pointing Fingers: Dalí’s Homage to Duchamp
    (pp. 147-180)

    Among Salvador Dalí’s extensive legacy of artworks is a chess set designed for the American Chess Foundation upon the establishment of the Marcel Duchamp Institute for the noncommercial advancement of chess in America.¹Chess Set(1964–1971; Figure 29) was shown at the exhibition Homage to Caïssa (at the Cordier & Ekstrom Gallery, New York, February 1966), along with works by Man Ray, Max Ernst, and others, and with Duchamp’s chess workHomage to Caïssa.² Made in honor of Marcel Duchamp,Chess Setmarks Dalí’s homage to Duchamp as long-standing friend, intellectual interlocutor, and fellow chess player.³ Dalí started introducing...

  10. 5 The Apparatus of Spectatorship: Duchamp, Matta-Clark, and Wilson
    (pp. 181-218)

    Marcel Duchamp’s critique and ultimate abandonment of the retinal aspects of painting has emerged over time as one of his most influential gestures.¹ His reaction against a purely visual understanding of painting reflected his attempts to reinvest art with an intellectual dimension that would bring into play its verbal, cultural, and institutional frames of reference. His efforts to strip painting bare of its visual vestments and outward appearance made visible its theoretical and institutional roots, thus decisively redefining art’s destiny as an activity that no longer abides in the visual register.² Interrogating the preeminence accorded to a retinal understanding of...

  11. Concluding Remarks: Mirrorical Returns
    (pp. 219-236)

    This study concluded with an examination of the apparatus of spectatorship as the setup that would determine the construction of its position in the public sphere (with particular reference to the institution of the museum) in the works of Duchamp, Matta-Clark, and Wilson. It explored how the social and institutional scaffolding of spectatorship is driven by a critique of commodification implied in visual consumption that brought into play considerations of the work’s exposition, that is, its physical and institutional modes of presentation and display.However, before bringing this study to a close, some additional reflections are in order, namely, as regards...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 237-270)
  13. Index
    (pp. 271-285)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 286-286)