The world of Marcel Duchamp’s artwork and influence on the modern art.
Art180- Modern Art History
There have been many famous and excellent artists in the twentieth century. Their art works are famous until now not only in their country but also all over the world and a lot of current artists follow them.Even though they do not exist now any more and their art works are pretty antique, they influence on current artists a lot.Some of artists are very famous so people,who are even not related to art, know their name at least. Marcel Duchamp is one of them. Many people say “There is no innovate art after Marcel Duchamp.” This can be a difficult concept to grasp at first-- some of his art is very subjective and takes a lot of thought to understand-- but it is very deep and meaningful.
One of his most famous pieces called “Fountain” is a piece meant to shock and confused the viewer; Duchamp is always playing to the viewer’s sense of shock, trying to force them to re-define the idea of “art” in their own minds. Marcel Duchamp broadened the realm of art and forced people to accept things as art that they would not have accepted before. It is like opening a door to go to the world of three dimensions from two-dimensional world. This essay examines how Duchamp has had an influence on artists and the art world as a whole.
“Fountain” is the piece that really helped Duchamp make a name for himself outside of insulated art circles. “Fountain” caused a lot of talk when it was first unveiled because it is just a toilet and he actually bought it at the store.This artwork aroused shock and irony to the world of art. But the Board of Directors that were meant to be showing the piece took exception to the Fountain and refused to exhibit it. Duchamp resigned immediately in protest. “‘Fountain’ is not immoral, that is absurd, no more than a bathtub is immoral. It is a fixture that you see every day in plumbers' shop windows. Whether I with my own hands made the fountain have no importance. I chose it.”1
This theme of “making” something versus “choosing” something became very important for Duchamp’s work. Duchamp can be defined as one of the icons of the “found art” movement, a movement that utilized objects found in the artists’ environment (or objects that the artists sought out) to create pieces of art. Duchamp had a very innovative approach to artwork; he strongly believed in the inherent value of ideas, rather than the creation of art.
This is not to say that Duchamp did not value classic artwork, or that he believed that traditional artwork was useless; instead, he was focused on extending the boundaries of what can be or is defined as art within the society. “Fountain” examines people's reactions to the objects within their society and the different ways in which people react to objects out of the contexts that they usually experience these objects in. “Fountain” exposes to the light an aspect of society that is usually kept under wraps and private.
If the artist, as a human being, full of the best intentions toward himself and the whole world, plays no role at all in the judgment of his own work, how can one describe the phenomenon which prompts the spectator to react critically to the work of art? In other words, how does this reaction come about? (“Marcel Duchamp: The Creative Act,” 1968)
Marcel Duchamp was very concerned with the intersection of the individual and the creative act. This led him to create a lot of his ready-made works, such as “Fountain” and “L.H.O.O.Q.,” the famous image of the Mona Lisa that caused such a stir within the art community when it debuted.
Duchamp was not always as expansive and forward-thinking as he was in his later years. He began his foray into the art world with experiments in cubism and other post-Impressionist painting techniques. His painting career never flourished; however, his two most famous paintings depicting nudes descending a staircase are considered good examples of Cubism to this day. Duchamp was a proficient painter, but it seems that he had too much drive to innovate in the art world to continue in such a traditional discipline.
After his brief foray into the world of painting, Duchamp decided to shock the world with an idea. He created one of his first “ready-made” pieces by taking the famous painting, Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and scrawling a beard and moustache across her face. This alone would not be enough to scandalize most art critics, but Duchamp took the piece further. He put the title ‘L.H.O.O.Q’ under the picture. The title, when pronounced in French, sounds like: “Elle a chaud au cul”, translating colloquially in "She has a hot ass".2
The artistic act that Duchamp participated in was not particularly difficult or time-consuming. All he did was buy the postcard, draw some beards and put the title on the image. However, this trivial deed exerted a strong influence on modern art. Duchamp utilized an image that is very well-known in most cultures around the world today to sneer at and undermine the authority of those individuals who were respected in the past. He made Da Vinci,whose people admire highly and worship, absurd.He wanted to destroy people’s worship and authority about masterpiece.His
Duchamp had an incredibly different idea of what constituted art than many aesthetic philosophers of the past, and this lead to the development of the very unique style of art that he became known for. In his famous philosophical piece, “The Creative Act,” Duchamp once wrote:
But before we go further, I want to clarify our understanding of the word 'art'— to be sure, without any attempt at a definition.
What I have in mind is that art may be bad, good or indifferent, but, whatever adjective is used, we must call it art, and bad art is still art in the same way that a bad emotion is still an emotion.
Therefore, when I refer to 'art coefficient', it will be understood that I refer not only to great art, but I am trying to describe the subjective mechanism which produces art in the raw state— à l'état brut— bad, good or indifferent. (“Marcel Duchamp: The Creative Act,” 1968)
This idea that art can be anything-- that the fact that art exists in and of itself is not a quality judgment on that piece-- is fundamentally different from the idea of art as it existed before. Until Duchamp’s era, art was a religious pursuit, or else it was a journey into the beauty of existence; Duchamp made art about the idea, not the creation itself.
The value of the art produced, Duchamp postulated, comes not from the fact that a creation is art. It comes from the idea behind the art; he calls this the “creative coefficient,” and it is the aspect of art and artistic creation that cannot be controlled by the artist. This value is subjective but it is subject to some of the rules of aesthetics that all art can and perhaps should be judged by.
Duchamp contributed in a very important way to the artistic movement of Dadaism. This movement is a cultural movement that emerged in Western culture in the post-World War I era. The movement was, among other things, a protest against the barbarism of the War. Dadaists believed that the world was oppressively rigid; their reaction to this rigidity is to reject all the accepted conventions of the art world at the time.3
The foundation of Dadaism aimed to basic desires of individual with rejecting traditional custom and extricating from original social restriction. Some historians postulate that the ennui that many artists felt due to the images of war that permeated the culture lead to the Dada movement; others feel that Dada was a logical extension of the artistic trends that had been going on since the post-Impressionist period.
Dada strongly denied traditional view of art and then created a view of anti-art. Dadaists had a strong will to challenge the existing stereotype for art. In other words, the artwork is formed from that artists regard it as an art, not from materials, contents, skills and shapes.Marcel Duchamp strived to produce a view of anti-art through his experimental art works.4He rejected pure painting by refusing to draw a picture, but he developed a new genre of modern art.
Duchamp's rejection of what he called “retinal art” was a turning point in his artistic growth and the development of his philosophical theory. He wanted to move away from the beautiful in the world and focus on the big and difficult questions that only art can functionally address.
Andre Breton, who is the leader of surrealism and the surrealist movement assessed him as the greatest artist at that time. Marcel Duchamp’s values had firm will to think out of the box about existing object and phenomenon so his values appears on his artworks. Duchamp created works that continue to be influential on the art world to this day; his influence is unparalleled in the artists of the twentieth century.
Since he created different artworks, he became an ideal for young artists. His challenging artistic spirit influenced on transition to Surrealism from Dadaism. Besides, his spirit inspires even current artists in the various field of Pop Art,Conceptual Art.5 According to his other-dimensional world of art is mixed with the ordinary world, the boundary between art and not art these days. This is one of the most important achievements in modern art history.
However, Duchamp never aspired to be a role model, or to have other people follow his lead; his entire philosophy was based on the idea that everyone should follow his or her own path towards artistic creation, and that everyone’s individual ideas are fundamental to creating art and changing the pathways of the art world.
Marcel Duchamp had a very firm philosophy on the act of creating art. He was convinced that the act of creation was fundamentally individual, and that the individual, no matter how he or she was educated, could contribute something to the art world. This is the fundamental idea behind his famous treatise, “The Creative Act.”
In “The Creative Act,” Duchamp writes:
All in all, the creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act. This becomes even more obvious when posterity gives a final verdict and sometimes rehabilitates forgotten artists. (“Marcel Duchamp: The Creative Act,” 1968).
Duchamp wanted to break the cycle of elitism in the art world. He wanted to create a world in which everyone has an opportunity to create art and express themselves in an artistic manner. His exploration into the idea of “found art” or “ready-made art” is fundamentally linked to this philosophical idea of “anyone can be an artist.”
Marcel Duchamp constantly tried to break the stereotype of art and he expressed his own type of philosophy through his work. As he said, his artwork was everything for him in life. There are a lot of things to learn not only from his revolutionary artwork but also from the way of his life style. He was not only the first leader who tried to break and change the old form of art but a starter of a modern art.
He found meanings from objects he sees and made them as an art form. Perhaps, he is showing us that we have been unconsciously stuck in our thought of stereotypes of seeing objects. His works make the viewer consider the nature of reality-- as though everything that they know, see, and feel should be reconsidered. As long as his work gives people a whole new point of view when seeing some things out of box and gives realization of new fact, it is a great art already.
Understanding reality through the lens of modern art can be difficult. Modern artists tend to move away from the literal depictions of the world into much more obtuse, difficult to understand visions of the world. They have a variety of reasons for moving away from the literal, but when the viewer takes the time to understand the concepts behind the art, the movement away from the literal becomes an effective way to communicate large, complex, or multi-faceted ideas. When modern artists address an issue, they are not often concerned with reaching many people, like the art of the past was; they want to reach the people who are interested in being spoken to. No longer does art have to tell a story; now it can ask questions, communicate to like-minded people, and challenge people's long-standing ideas.
Duchamp changed the face of the art world for the better. He was an innovator in his day, and his modern art continues to be displayed in some of the biggest museums in the world. He created a form of art that made the viewer stop and think about his or her perception of art, which is a philosophical achievement that many sought their entire careers to reach.
When an artist creates a work that can bother the viewer long after he or she leaves the exhibit, the artist has created a lasting work of art that will continue to last throughout time. Great art does not have to be beautiful or technically perfect to be impactful; this is the idea that Duchamp was trying so hard to express through his found and ready-made artwork.
It is rare that an artist legitimately creates a new genre of art that takes hold of the art scene and causes a renaissance in aesthetic philosophy. Duchamp, in conjunction with his fellow pop artists, managed to create a new genre of art that continues to be influential today. This is an amazing achievement and should be celebrated. He was a genius in a new and different way, and is recognized as such to this day. For this reason, it is important to understand the philosophy behind his works, particularly the ones that have become the most well-known. Other artists riff off Duchamp's work to this day; without an understanding of Duchamp, other modern artists will be completely inaccessible to the viewer.
artinthepicture.com. "What is Dadaism." 2013.
http://www.artinthepicture.com/styles/Dadaism/ (accessed Jan 31, 2013).
Marcel Duchamp World Company. MarcelDuchamp.Net.2013.
http://www.marcelduchamp.net/L.H.O.O.Q.php (accessed Jan 31, 2013).
Meis, Morgan. "Marcel Duchamp's “Étant donnés."." The Smart Set (Drexel University), 2009.
Naver. Naver 지식백과. Doopedia.
http://terms.naver.com/entry.nhn?cid=200000000&docId=1167071&categoryId=200000784(accessed Jan 31, 2013).
"The Richard Mutt Case." The Blind Man 2 (May 1917): 5.
Wisdomportal.com. "Marcel Duchamp: The Creative Act." 1968. http://www.wisdomportal.com/Cinema-Machine/Duchamp-CreativeAct.html (accessed 30 Mar 2013).