When is a urinal no longer a urinal? When Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) declared it to be art. The uproar that greeted the French artist’s Fountain (1917), a porcelain urinal installed in a gallery, sent shock waves through the art world establishment that reverberate right through to today.
This essential introduction distills all the daring and the scandal of Duchamp’s practice into one essential overview not only of a pioneering creative but also of a critical moment in Western culture. From his groundbreaking blend of abstraction, Cubism, and Futurism in Nude Descending a Staircase (1912) to his forays into the now-iconic “readymades” such as Bicycle Wheel (1913) and Bottle Rack (1914) we explore how Duchamp consistently challenged the notion of what art is and, in so doing, opened up a world of conceptual possibilities beyond the “retinal” experience.
About the series
Born back in 1985, the Basic Art Series has evolved into the best-selling art book collection ever published. Each book in TASCHEN’s Basic Art series features:
a detailed chronological summary of the life and oeuvre of the artist, covering his or her cultural and historical importance
a concise biography
approximately 100 illustrations with explanatory captions