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Couple of Laundress's Aprons, 1959

Marcel Duchamp

French, 1887-1968
Fabric and fur suspended in glass and wood frame, Edition of 20
overall: 14 x 20-7/8 x 1-3/8 in. (35.6 x 53.0 x 3.5 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Museum Purchase

Not on view

Potholders suggest meal preparation as well as other domestic duties or traditional female activities. Duchamp altered these feminized objects in the middle and inserted overtly sexual references to establish separate gender identifications for both. Potholders such as these two were included in the deluxe edition of "Boîte Alerte," the box that Duchamp designed as a supra-catalogue for the 1959 International Surrealist Exhibition in Paris. The two rectified readymades fit decidely within the theme of that exhibition, "EROS," referring to the Greek god of love and sexual desire.

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