Duchamp rejected purely visual or what he dubbed "retinal pleasure," deeming it to be facile, in favor of more intellectual, concept-driven approaches to art-making and, for that matter, viewing. He remained committed, however, to the study of perspective and optics which underpins his experiments with kinetic devices, reflecting an ongoing concern with the representation of motion and machines common to Futurist and Surrealist artists at the time.
Marcel Duchamp's entry into artistic life thus had little in common with the classic stories of rebellion and rejection exemplified by avantgarde figures like Rimbaud and Alfred Jarry. In later life he would display an unworried ability to take life as it came, his calm, unruffled self-confidence contrasting sharply with the need to prove oneself by dominating others so evident, for instance, in figure like Andre Breton.
After the sensation caused by Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (1912), he painted few other pictures. He became famous for his "ready-mades" and heralded an artistic revolution. Largely ignored during his lifetime, he was in his 70s when he emerged as master whose entirely new attitude toward art and society changed the future of visual arts.
In 1912, Duchamp produced two of his iconic works: Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2, and The Bride. The first was shown at the Armory Show, which set off radical modernism. Perhaps no work at the show was as controversial as Duchamp’s Nude. Proclaimed scandalous, since ‘nudes do not look like that’, the painting was the herald of Duschamp’s Analytic Cubism - which was very close to Futurism. In fact, Futurism, with its glorification of modernization, and its aim of conveying the surge of industrial society, appropriated the technique of Analytic Cubism in order to capture movement, that is, to give “a static representation of movement”.
The fame that struck Duchamp in 1913 would have much to do with this remarkable career. Already it was fame of a peculiar - and a peculiarly revealing - kind. In his early days in America he sometimes thought that only this picture was famous, whereas he as a person had disappeared behind it, "obscured ... squashed by the Nude."
Marcel Duchamp was born on 28 July 1887, in Blainville, near Rouen, France, into the family of a well to-do-notary. Both parents respected and encouraged cultural activities; four of their children became artists - Raymond Duchamp-Villon (1876-1918), sculptor, Suzanne Duchamp, poetess and artist, better known under the name of Crotti, Marcel Duchamp himself, and the half brother of the three, Gaston, painter, who is known as Jacques Villon.
In sculpture, Duchamp pioneered two of the main innovations of the 20th century kinetic art and ready-made art. His "ready-mades" consisted simply of everyday objects, such as a urinal and a bottle rack. His Bicycle Wheel (1913, original lost; 3rd version, 1951, Museum of Modern Art, New York City), an early example of kinetic art, was mounted on a kitchen stool.
Marcel Duchamp, French Dada artist, whose small but controversial output exerted a strong influence on the development of 20th-century avant-garde art. Born on July 28, 1887, in Blainville, brother of the artist Raymond Duchamp-Villon and half brother of the painter Jacques Villon, Duchamp began to paint in 1908. After producing several canvases in the current mode of Fauvism, he turned toward experimentation and the avant-garde, producing his most famous work, Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (Philadelphia Museum of Art) in 1912; portraying continuous movement through a chain of overlapping cubistic figures, the painting caused a furor at New York City's famous Armory Show in 1913.
Henri-Robert-Marcel Duchamp, was born on July 28th, 1887, near Blainville, France. In 1904, he traveled to Paris to join his artist brothers, Raymond Duschamp-Villon and Jacques Villon. In Paris, Marcel studied painting at the Academie Julian, until 1905. His early work was Post-Impressionist. In 1908, Duchamp’s work was exhibited at the Salon di Automne, and in 1909 at the Salon des Independants, both in Paris.
"But I shy away from the word "creation." In the ordinary, social meaning of the word - well, it's very nice but, fundamentally, I don't believe in the creative function of the artist. He's a man like any other. It's his job to do certain things, but the businessman does certain things also, you understand? On the other hand, the word "art" interests me very much."