Archive for Marcel Duchamp

In the Manner of Delvaux, 1942

Posted in Collage with tags on November 28, 2014 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

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L’amour de Breton

Posted in Photo, Surrealism with tags , , on October 7, 2014 by Dylan Thomas Hayden


“Je n’ai pas connu d’homme qui ait une plus grande capacité d’amour. Un plus grand pouvoir d’aimer la grandeur de la vie et l’on ne comprend rien à ses haines, si l’on ne sait pas qu’il s’agissait pour lui de protéger la qualité même de son amour de la vie, du merveilleux de la vie. Breton aimait comme un cœur qui bat. Il était l’amant de l’amour dans un monde qui croit à la prostitution. C’est là son signe.”

–Marcel Duchamp, quotation via

–Photo of Breton with Aragon in 1925 by Man Ray

Optimistic Box No. 3

Posted in Art, Fluxus, Object with tags , on December 22, 2013 by Dylan Thomas Hayden


Smoking is Cool #8

Posted in Smoke with tags on October 16, 2010 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Marcel Duchamp

Speaking of Silence

Posted in Art, Surrealism with tags on April 30, 2009 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Marcel Duchamp at 13

As Rrose Sélavy, photo by Man Ray, 1921

As Adam in Satie’s ballet Relâche, 1924

Photo by Victor Obsatz, 1953

Torn-paper self-portrait, 1958

“Marcel Duchamp, having become an aristocrat because of his original Dadaist anarchism, categorically refuses to take part in the contemporary artistic brawl. He does not want to be identified with those who tirelessly continue “barking at the moon,” he abandons painting, not as an act of artistic suicide, but because he continues to have swift nudes cross the king and the queen in his thoughts, while playing chess.”

–Salvador Dali, Art News, April 1959

Five years after Dali’s salute to the sardonic eminence grise of the avant-garde, Joseph Beuys would challenge Duchamp’s reputation on behalf of a new generation of socially engaged young artists. “The Silence of Marcel Duchamp is Overrated,” he declared in a performance of 1964. I believe the obvious retort has already been made long ago: “The Talking of Joseph Beuys is Overrated!” While there is much I admire in Beuy’s work, a little of his prophetic posturing goes a long way. I find much more repose and refreshment in Duchamp’s playful economy of sparse gestures, each one of which seems to have launched a new genre and a hundred artistic careers. Where would Beuys himself have been without the example of Duchamp’s readymades, which he magnified and multiplied into mountains of earnest kitsch?

Alas for Duchamp, even in retreat he could not escape from the interpretations of his critics and rivals. The game of art once begun could not be resigned. Probably he chuckled at Beuys’ rhetoric in silent amusement, if he regarded it at all. Perhaps he even agreed. His absent presence remains a pleasure and a peace in this age of noise, for his silence was not vacancy.