Marcel Duchamp

Mrz 17, 2016

Key Pieces

Without doubt, Duchamp’s Fountain is a key piece in the history of art. It thus deserves its place in our series. Here are ten Facts on an artwork as simple as complex.

1. Duchamp’s Fountain belongs to the Dada movement and is the first ever ready-made
2. It is an urinal that Duchamp bought from the J.L.Mott Iron Works before reorienting it to a position of 90 degrees and writing on it ‘R.Mutt 1917′
3. Duchmap submitted it for the exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in 1917, but the committee rejected it even though it was stated that every work would be accepted
4. Duchamp was a member of the jury at that time and never said that the mysterious R. Mutt was actually himself
5. The Fountain was photographed by Alfred Stieglitz’s studio
6. Short after the photoshoot, the initial Fountain was lost, probably thrown out as a rubbish
7. The reproduction of the Fountain was made in 1950, soon after ten other ones followed, so a unique artwork became a series
8. In 2004 it was voted the most influential artwork of the 20th century by 500 selected art world professionals
9. Several artists arose attention by urinating on the Fountain. Pierre Pinoncelli is one of them.
10. It has been a constant inspiration for artists throughout the 20th century. Sherrie Levine for example, created a golden Fountain.

The original Fountain by Marcel Duchamp photographed by Alfred Stieglitz at the 291 (Art Gallery) after the 1917 Society of Independent Artists exhibit.