Marcel Duchamp: Étant donnés
by Michael R. Taylor
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With essays by Andrew Lins, Melissa S. Meighan, and Beth A. Price, Ken Sutherland, Scott Homolka, and Elena Torok
In his early thirties, Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) convinced everyone that he had abandoned making art in favor of playing chess. But from 1946 to 1966, he was secretly at work in his studio on West Fourteenth Street in New York City. There he produced his final masterpiece: Étant donnés: 1º la chute d’eau, 2º le gaz d’éclairage
, composed of a battered wood door through which one views a prone, nude female, holding aloft an antique gas lamp against a landscape of trees, waterfall, and sky. Unveiled as a permanent installation at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in July 1969, the year after Duchamp’s death, the work startled the art world with its explicit eroticism and voyeurism, as well as its trompe l’oeil realism. Since its public debut, Étant donnés
has been recognized as one of the most important and enigmatic works of the twentieth century.
Published to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the original installation of Étant donnés
and to accompany the first major exhibition on the work and its studies, this richly illustrated book presents a wealth of new research and documents that draw upon previously unpublished works of art, photographs, and other materials. The catalogue also examines the critical and artistic reception of Étant donnés
, as evidenced by the subsequent work of Les Levine, Hannah Wilke, Robert Gober, Marcel Dzama, Ray Johnson, and other artists who have engaged with Duchamp’s provocative and challenging tableau construction.
About the Author
Michael R. Taylor is the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award 2009, Art Libraries Society of North America
Outstanding Catalogue Based on a Permanent Collection 2009, Association of Art Museum Curators
343 color + 117 b&w illus.
11 ⅕ x 9 inches
Yale University Press, 2009
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-0300149791
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-0300149791
Manual of Instructions: Étant donnés: 1° la chute d'eau, 2° le gaz d'éclairage . . . Revised edition
Preface by Anne d'Harnoncourt and Introductory essay by Michael R. Taylor
66 pages, 119 b/w + 18 color illustrations; 10 3/4" x 12"
Hardcover: ISBN: 978-0-87633-212-2
Out of print for a number of years, this facsimile of Marcel Duchamp's Manual of Instructions was prepared by the artist for the disassembly of Étant donnés
in his New York studio and its reassembly at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. First published more than twenty years ago, the manual has had far-reaching ramifications for the study of Étant donnés
and Duchamp. Illustrated with 116 black-and-white Polaroids taken by the artist and 35 pages of his handwritten notes and sketches, the revised edition includes a new essay by Michael R. Taylor on the pivotal importance of the manual to an understanding of Duchamp's artistic practice as well as the first English translation of the artist's text.
Michael R. Taylor is the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art, and the late Anne d'Harnoncourt was formerly the Director, both at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.