Marcel Duchamp created puzzles for a living and influences a great many people 20 years after his death without them exactly knowing it. The ideas he set in motion through his art work, chess playing and abstention from making art reach into and connect mathematics, physics, dance, music, theatre, politics.

1887-1968 French born artist

Enigmatic, iconoclastic father of Conceptualism worked in Cubism, Dada Movement and Surrealism.

1904 he leaves his parents home and moves in with his brother Gaston in the Montmartre section of Paris.

Eventually he became disillusioned with the structure of how art is chosen to be displayed.

In 1916, after he became famous in the states resulting from the Armory Show 1913; he came to the states to start a new career. He was met at the dock by Walter Arensberg and his wife Louise. They went on to become his great friends and benefactors. They collected the largest collection of his artwork in existence. This collection now is in the Philedelphia Museum of Art.

Friends with Francis Picabia, Man Ray. Famous for Nude Descending a Staircase (1912) and Fountain (1917). Called his conceptual pieces Readymades. Told everyone he had quit art to play chess, continued to work on some projects. New York Dada

Some of the work he did:

He had significant influence on nearly every movement in the 20th century. Including:

His work is in the permanent collection of:

Related nodes:


Sources: Motherwell, Robert "The Dada Painters and Poets: An Anthology", Harvard University Press, 1951 Rubin, William S., "Dada, Surrealism, and Their Heritage", Museum of Modern Art, NY, 1968. Last Updated 05.09.04

Ah, uncle Marcel. How he strove to make people not understand. In this he succeeded, but only to find that the public often accepts what they do not understand if it will make them appear intelligent. The illusion of intelligencia that will forever exist in elitist art. Poor uncle Marcel. He tried so hard. His ideals taken without doubt or question by a horde of those who could not hope to understand. A loss it is indeed, that no one finds him funny. Humor was always his strongest attribute, and what a chess player. Indeed, he could have been great, if only they had let him quit.

sigh......

Ah, well. I am not here.

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