Readymade Art

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In 1915 the concept of “readymade” art was introduced by Marcel Duchamp when he took an ordinary snow shovel and painted the title In advance of the broken arm. He had previously turned a wheel up-side down and attached it to a stool, creating a piece he called Bicycle wheel. This was also considered a “readymade.” A “readymade” by Duchamp is “an ordinary object elevated to the dignity of a work of art by the mere choice of an artist.” Duchamp produced many of these “readymades,” but it his readymade entitled Fountain that we will be discussing here. Duchamp’s Fountain originated from a urinal that he with two other friends purchased from a plumber, took to his studio, and turned it on its backside. He painted the pseudonym “R. Mutt” on it, and submitted it to the Society of Independent Artists in an exhibition. Duchamp took an everyday item and submitted it as art. His Fountain was a readymade that would become the most influential piece of art of the 20th century. Society ponders Duchamp’s meaning behind his artwork. What is it? What does it represent? What did Marcel Duchamp mean by this piece? Is it art because he chose it as art? The art world is so ostentatious that it will over analyze anything that is put in front of them, when in fact; there is no meaning at all. Marcel Duchamp chose this piece as a practical joke on the Society of Independent Artists. It is in my judgment that just choosing an object for display does not constitute it to be art. People read into this sculpture too much. Far too many people interpret it as a sexual piece. They think it looks like male genitalia, while others think it represents female genitalia. Yet others have a homosexual opinion of it because of the activities that go on inside mal... ... middle of paper ... ...ittle trick. Everyone fell for it when he pulled a fast one on the public. Works Cited Duchamp, Marcel “The Richard Mutt Case” The Blind Man, May 1917: 5 Gayford, Martin ”Duchamp's Fountain: The practical joke that launched an artistic revolution” 16 Feb 2008 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/3671180/Duchamps-Fountain-The-practical-joke-that-launched-an-artistic-revolution.html Hensher, Philip“The loo that shook the world: Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabi” 20 February 2008 http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/the-loo-that-shook-the-world-duchamp-man-ray-picabi-784384.html Jones, Jonathan “Art that takes the piss out of the critic” 20 February 2008, http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/video/2008/feb/20/fountain.duchamp.tate Kuenzli, Rudolf E.; Naumann, Francis M. “Marcel Duchamp: Artist of the Century” United States: MIT Press, 1990

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