Duchamp to Pop
For many of the 20th century’s greatest practitioners, the work of a singular artist exercised a potent influence—that artist is Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968). Duchamp to Pop draws from the Norton Simon Museum’s collection and rich archives of two seminal exhibitions in the early 1960s to illustrate Duchamp’s sway over Pop Art and its artists, especially Andy Warhol, Jim Dine and others.
In 1916, Duchamp wrote to his sister with regard to the Bottlerack, “I purchased this as a sculpture already made.” From this description, Duchamp in effect redefined what constitutes a work of art, and thus, the readymade was born.
The original Bottlerack was an unassisted readymade, meaning that it was not altered physically by the artist. The bottle rack was a functional object manufactured for (as its name implies) the drying of glass bottles. Duchamp purchased it from a department store in Paris in 1914 and brought the bottle rack into the art world to alter its meaning. The act of choosing a readymade allowed Duchamp to, as he said in a 1953 interview, “reduce the idea of aesthetic consideration to the choice of the mind, not to the ability or cleverness of the hand.” Thus, Duchamp privileged the artist’s concept and intent over the details of form. SHOW MORE