Notes on the Indefinable

October 25, 2006

Virtual 1913 Armory Show

Filed under: Art History, Exhibtions, Museums / Galleries, Web Resources — Luke @ 10:51 am

Program, 1913 Armory ShowThe always helpful website of the American Studies program at University of Virginia has created this virtual walk-through of the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art, otherwise known as the Armory Show. You can tour the galleries as they were arranged and get some context for where Duchamp’s Nude No. 2 stood among the rest of the art of the exhibit.

“Though by no means complete, the tour of the Armory Show aims to present a skeleton map of the exhibition as it looked in 1913, with the 69th Regiment Armory divided into 18 individual galleries. Also included is commentary on each area of the exhibition, providing some understanding of how audiences came to see the works at the Armory. The second aspect of the project is an investigation of several widespread contentions held by Armory Show critics. The impact of these assertions on analyses of early 20th-century cultural production in America will be explored as well. These essays are an attempt to detail some of the Show’s impact while offering alternatives to critical accounts of the past.”

1913 Armory Show – Virtual Tour @ University of Virginia


October 24, 2006

Wacky Cartoon Commentary on Nude No. 2

Filed under: Art History, Critcism, Non / Conceptual Art — Luke @ 11:18 am

A *big* thanks to Eric for these cartoons … originally published in the New York Evening Sun, they spoof Duchamp’s groundbreaking work that was at the time hanging at the Armory Show. Click ’em for larger versions.

Thanks, Eric!

October 19, 2006

Excerpt: Nude Descending a Staircase: A Performance Piece

Ok, so this is somewhat freaky and perhaps a little more “loose” than I ususally like my poetry / art, but there are some poignant moments in this piece that go a certain distance to getting the feeling of Duchamp’s “Nude” across to the reader.

Excerpt from: Nude Descending a Staircase: A Performance Piece by Sheri Tousey

Nude Descending a Staircase

An explosion in a shingle factory!

But where is the nude?

Random, intellectual whimsy.

Analytical Cubism is transformed into mental surgery.


Salon des Independents–Paris, 1912

Galerie Dalmau–Barcelona, 1912

Section d’Or Exhibition–Paris, 1912


Entire poem / performance available here.

October 18, 2006

Nude Descending into the History Books

Filed under: Art History, Critcism, Non / Conceptual Art, Painting — Luke @ 12:37 pm

duchamp_-_nude_descending_a_staircase.jpgMy final project is to take a look at works of art we now regard as seminal and explore the critical reaction of the time. Often it was negative, sometimes not … my hope is to get a better understanding about evolving definitions of art (my own included).

I’ll be gathering bits from ’round the Internet and posting them here (in addition to looking at actual books made of paper, ink, glue and all that other weird stuff).

According to Wikipedia:

Duchamp first submitted the work (Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2) to appear in a Cubist show at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris, but jurist Albert Gleizes asked Duchamp’s brothers, Jacques Villon and Raymond Duchamp-Villon, to have him voluntarily withdraw the painting, or paint over the title that he had painted on the work and rename it something else.

Of the incident Duchamp recalled,

“I said nothing to my brothers. But I went immediately to the show and took my painting home in a taxi. It was really a turning point in my life, I can assure you. I saw that I would not be very much interested in groups after that.”

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