Étant donnés  

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* Outside view of [http://www.philamuseum.org/collections/permanent/65633.html ''Etant donnés''] at the [[Philadelphia Museum of Art]]. * Outside view of [http://www.philamuseum.org/collections/permanent/65633.html ''Etant donnés''] at the [[Philadelphia Museum of Art]].
* Inside view of [http://www.toutfait.com/issues/issue_2/Notes/pop_2.html ''Etant donnés''] * Inside view of [http://www.toutfait.com/issues/issue_2/Notes/pop_2.html ''Etant donnés'']
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Revision as of 20:07, 4 March 2008

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Etant donnés (Given: 1 The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas, French: Etant donnés: 1° la chute d'eau / 2° le gaz d'éclairage.) is Marcel Duchamp's last major art work which surprised the art world that believed he'd given up art for chess 25 years earlier. It is a tableau, visible only through a peep hole in a wooden door, of a nude woman lying on her back with her face hidden and legs spread holding a gas lamp in the air in one hand against a landscape backdrop.

Duchamp worked secretly on the piece from 1946 to 1966 in his Greenwich Village studio while even his closest friends thought he had abandoned art.

It is made of an old wooden door, bricks, velvet, twigs, a female form made of leather, glass, linoleum, and an electric motor. Duchamp prepared a "Manual of Instructions" in a 4-ring binder explaining and illustrating how to assemble and disassemble the piece.

Jonathan Wallis has pointed out the parallels between Étant donnés and the Black Dahlia murder. By far the most striking one are the two bodies. In a photograph of Elizabeth Short’s body at the crime scene, she lies in thick, tall grass not unlike the twigs that surround the body in Étant donnés; her legs spread wide displaying her sex…

It wasn't until 1969 that the Philadelphia Museum of Art revealed the tableau to the public.

Notes and references

  • Tomkins, Calvin: Duchamp: A Biography, Henry Holt and Company, Inc., 1996. ISBN 0-8050-5789-7
  • Hulten, Pontus (editor): Marcel Duchamp: Work and Life, The MIT Press, 1993. ISBN 0-262-08225-X

External links

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Étant donnés" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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