Inventing Marcel Duchamp

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Inventing Marcel Duchamp: The Dynamics of Portraiture
National Portrait Gallery
March 27 – August 2, 2009
Washington, DC

Portrait multiple de Marcel Duchamp (Five-Way Portrait of Marcel Duchamp), 1917

Rrose Sélavy by Duchamps and Man Ray & Tonsure (rear view), by Man Ray

Profile Portrait of Marcel Duchamp & Duchamp with Shaving Lather for Monte Carlo Bond, by Man Ray


Washington, DC – This groundbreaking exhibition casts new light upon Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), one of the most influential artists of the recent past. This show demonstrates that Duchamp harnessed the power of portraiture and self-portraiture both to secure his reputation as an iconoclast and to establish himself as a major figure in the artworld. In the process, he played a key role in the reinvention of portraiture, exerting a transformative influence from the early 20th century to the present. The exhibition showcases approximately 100 never-before-assembled portraits and self-portraits of Duchamp ranging from 1912 to the present, including works by his contemporaries Man Ray, Alfred Stieglitz, Francis Picabia and Florine Stettheimer as well as portraits by a more recent generation of artists, such as Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Sturtevant, Yasumasa Morimura, David Hammons, Beatrice Wood and Douglas Gordon. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue published by MIT Press, featuring new research by leading scholars and a detailed chronology of Duchamp’s life. Co-curators for the exhibition are Anne Collins Goodyear, assistant curator of prints and drawings, and James W. McManus, professor of art history, California State University Chico.

Read more:

Exhibit studies artist who tweaked ‘Mona Lisa’, by Brett Zongker, AP