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Marcel Duchamp (Duchamp-Marcel)

Born: 1887 AD
Died: 1968 AD, at 81 years of age.

Nationality: French
Categories: Artists


1887 - Born in Blainville-Crevon Seine-Maritime in the Haute-Normandie Region of France, on the 28th of July.

1903-1904 -  He won two math prizes at the school. He also won a prize for drawing, and at his commencement he won a coveted first prize validating his recent decision to become an artist.

1905 - He studied art at Académie Julian, but preferred playing billiards to attending classes.

         - He began his compulsory military service working for a printer in Rouen. There he learned typography and printing processes, skills he would use in his later work.

1912 - His first controversial work, Nude Descending a Staircase, No.2, depicts the motion of the mechanistic nude with superimposed facets, similar to motion pictures.

         - He painted the last of his Cubist-like paintings and a "bride stripped bare by her bachelors" image, and began making plans for the Large Glass scribbling short notes to himself, sometimes with hurried sketches, but it would be over 10 years before the piece was completed.

         - Duchamp painted few canvases after, and in those he did, he attempted to remove "painterly" effects, and instead used a technical drawing approach.

1913 - He submitted the painting to the Armory Show in New York City, which displayed works of American artists and was the first major exhibition of the modern trends coming out of Paris.

         - He assembled the first readymade, a bicycle wheel mounted on a stool, about the same time as his Nude Descending A Staircase was attracting the attention of critics at the International Exhibition of Modern Art, though it wasn't until two years later he called it a readymade.

1914 - With his brothers and many friends in military service and himself exempted, Paris felt uncomfortable to Duchamp. He decided to emigrate to the then neutral United States,

1918 - He left his work on the Large Glass and the art scene, and went to Buenos Aires, Argentina for nine months where he often played chess, and carved from wood the only chess set he himself made, though a local craftsman made the knights.

1919-1920 - He returned to Paris, where he lived until he returned to the United States.

1923 - He moved to Paris, he was no longer a practicing artist. Instead he played and studied chess, which he played for the rest of his life to the near exclusion of all other activity.

1925 - He design the Poster for the Third French Chess Championship, but he finished the event at fifty percent, and thus earned the title of chess master.

1927 - On the 28th of June, Duchamp married Lydie Sarazin-Lavassor, and they divorced six months later on 25th of  January 1928.

1928-1933 - He went on to play in the French Championships and also in the Olympiad, favoring hypermodern openings like the Nimzo-Indian.

         - He teamed up with fellow chess theorist Halberstadt to publish "L'opposition et cases conjuguées sont réconciliées.

1915 - He arrived in New York, where he quickly befriended art patron Katherine Dreier and artist Man Ray.

         - He began doing his "readymades" found objects he chose and presented as art.

1917 - Duchamp and Dada are most often connected by his submission of Fountain, a urinal, to the Society of Independent Artists exhibit.

1946 - Duchamp worked secretly on the piece in his Greenwich Village studio while even his closest friends thought he had abandoned art.

1955 - He became a United States citizen his but his influence on the art world remained behind the scenes until the late 1950s when he was "discovered" by a young artists such as Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns who were eager to escape the dominance of Abstract Expressionism.

1960 - He reignited, and he gained international public recognition.

1967 - He helped organize an exhibition called "Les Duchamp: Jacques Villon, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Marcel Duchamp, Suzanne Duchamp." Some of this family exhibition was later shown at the Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris.

1968 - Died on the 2nd of October in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France and is buried in the Rouen Cemetery, in Rouen, Normandy, France. His grave bears the epitaph, "D'ailleurs, c'est toujours les autres qui meurent;" or "Anyway, it's always other people that die."


Page last updated: 6:02am, 30th Mar '07