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Artist: Duchamp, Marcel 3 of 9 Previous Previous | Next Next

Bottle Dryer (Bottlerack), 1963 (replica of 1914 original)

Marcel Duchamp

French, 1887-1968
Readymade bottle-dryer of galvanized iron
overall: 29-1/4 x 16 in. (74.3 x 40.6 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of Mr. Irving Blum, in memory of the Artist
© Succession Marcel Duchamp / ADAGP, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 2014 Reproduction, including downloading of ARS works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Not on view

In 1913, Duchamp asked himself, "Can one make a work of art that is not a work of art?" In the case of this readymade, a metal rack for drying wine bottles, the answer is yes. He claimed that an artist's act of choice is sufficient to transform any functional object into a functionless sculpture - hence the term "readymade," a found or manufactured object whose previous purpose is rendered void, owing to the object's new classification by the artist. It has been altered conceptually. For an art world that prized the evidence of the artist's hand and labor, the shock value of the readymade was high. Beyond this, the object has accrued additional associations, including a symbolic relation to the Eiffel Tower and erotic overtones associated with the rack's empty spikes.

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Artist: Duchamp, Marcel 3 of 9 Previous Previous | Next Next