Cover image for Duchamp : love and death, even
Duchamp : love and death, even
Ramírez, Juan Antonio, 1948-2009.
Uniform Title:
Duchamp. English
Publication Information:
London, UK : Reaktion Books, 1998.
Physical Description:
291 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N6853.D8 R3613 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Marcel Duchamp's stature in the history of art has grown steadily since the 1950s, as several artistic movements have embraced him as their founding father. But although his influence is comparable only to Picasso's, Duchamp continues to be relatively unknown outside his narrow circle of followers. This book seeks to explain his oeuvre, which has been shrouded with mystery.

Duchamp's two great preoccupations were the nature of scientific truth and a feeling for love with its natural limit, death. His works all speak of eroticism in a way that pushes the socially acceptable to its outer limits. Juan Antonio Ramirez addresses such questions as the meaning of the artist's ground-breaking ready-mades and his famous installation Etant donn#65533;s ; his passionate essay reproduces all of Duchamp's important works, in addition to numerous previously unpublished visual sources. Duchamp: Love and Death, even is a seminal monograph for understanding this crucial figure of modern art.

Author Notes

Juan Antonio Ram#65533;rez is Professor of History of Art at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain, and the author of several books on art, architecture and film.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

A virtual Duchamp industry has arisen over the last decade or so, as the chameleonlike art provocateur has been canonized as a primal postmodern. While there are plenty of explications of his oeuvre available (Thierry De Duve's philosophical explorations being among the best), this sumptuous, illustration- packed study is one of the most systematic and clear, if not the most comprehensive. Ram¡rez, a professor of art history at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, devotes nearly the entire book to what he sees as Duchamp's major works: The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (hence the book's subtitle) and Etant Donn‚es (a work Duchamp spent the last 30 years of his career planning and assembling), carefully analyzing each component of their complicated "mechanisms." He finds a plethora of sources in popular material and print culture for them bothÄthe first, a sort of flattened mobile structure captured between two panes of (now cracked) glass; the second, a notorious macabre peep show-like installation. These sources are reproduced on nearly every page, along with details of the works themselves. Ram¡rez's tight focus will not suit readers seeking an overview of the career or life, and his somewhat clinical presentation will turn off others. But those looking for a way into the intricacies of two arguable masterpieces of 20th-century art will find few better avenues than this meticulous and devoted study. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Preface to the English Edition
1 Devising the Ready-Mades
2 'Precision Painting...' (The Mechanisms of Bachelors)
3 '...And the Beauty of Indifference' (The Bride Stripped Bare)
4 In the Orbit of Etant Donnés
5 'Given, in the Darkness...' (Love and Death)
6 Appendix: Early Duchamp in 9 Representative Works
Select Bibliography (69 Books)
References Index of Works by Duchamp
Index of Proper Names
Photographic Acknowledgements