Marcel Duchamp  

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A playful man, Duchamp prodded thought about artistic processes and art marketing, not so much with words, but with actions such as dubbing a urinal "art" and naming it ''[[Fountain (Duchamp)|Fountain]]'', and by "giving up" art to play chess. He produced relatively few artworks as he quickly moved through the [[avant-garde]] rhythms of his time. A playful man, Duchamp prodded thought about artistic processes and art marketing, not so much with words, but with actions such as dubbing a urinal "art" and naming it ''[[Fountain (Duchamp)|Fountain]]'', and by "giving up" art to play chess. He produced relatively few artworks as he quickly moved through the [[avant-garde]] rhythms of his time.
-{{quotation|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. (Marcel Duchamp)<ref>Marcel Duchamp, from Session on the Creative Act, Convention of the American Federation of Arts, Houston, Texas, April 1957.</ref>}}+:"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." --Marcel Duchamp, from Session on the Creative Act, Convention of the American Federation of Arts, Houston, Texas, April 1957.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Marcel Duchamp (July 28, 1887October 2, 1968) was a French artist (he became an American citizen in 1955) whose work and ideas had considerable influence on the development of post-World War II Western art, and whose advice to modern art collectors helped shape the tastes of the Western art world.

While he is most often associated with the Dada and Surrealism movements, his participation in Surrealism was largely behind the scenes, and after being involved in New York Dada, he barely participated in Paris Dada.

Thousands of books and articles attempt to interpret Duchamp's artwork and philosophy, but in interviews and his writing, Duchamp only added to the mystery. The interpretations interested him as creations of their own, and as reflections of the interpreter.

A playful man, Duchamp prodded thought about artistic processes and art marketing, not so much with words, but with actions such as dubbing a urinal "art" and naming it Fountain, and by "giving up" art to play chess. He produced relatively few artworks as he quickly moved through the avant-garde rhythms of his time.

"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." --Marcel Duchamp, from Session on the Creative Act, Convention of the American Federation of Arts, Houston, Texas, April 1957.
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