"Dada: 1916-1923," Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, April 15 to May 9, 1953
Marcel Duchamp, American (born France), 1887 - 1968
After designing an exhibition catalogue that could be printed on a single sheet, Marcel Duchamp declared that copies should be crumpled before distribution. A gesture that undercut artistic convention and what Duchamp called the “seriousness” of the exhibition catalogue, the act also dramatizes the process of transformation. First Duchamp turned commercially produced paper into an exhibition catalogue; then, audaciously, he turned the catalogue into wastepaper. Finally, displayed here in a context that draws attention to its sculptural qualities, the wadded paper is transformed into art.