Last week opened exhibition on Marcel Duchamp in Lenbachhaus Kunstbau in Munich is certainly not a highlight of art events for me. Well, I am no expert to judge it, but the focus of the concept was not clear to me: was it Duchamp? Was it Munich in expressionist era? I thought that it would be about the time he spent in Munich and how it affected his work – but, again, I was not so clear on this message (as opposed to previous exhibition here, which I loved).

Nevertheless, you become rather speechless before some of his pieces. Its Nude Descending a Staircase, No.2 (1912)  represents a breakthrough in art history not only because it combines cubist and futurist elements, depicting a female body by composing abstract conical and cylindrical elements and giving dynamics in its motion, but also because it is mimicking stop-motion photography by superimposing several images. It caused quite a stir, first at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris, where it was not shown in the end, and then at the 1913 Armory Show in New York.

Marcel Duchamp (1887 - 1968), Nude Descending a Staircase (2012)

As said by Kunstbau, this painting “captured the ideas and influences of a whole epoch in one iconic image. His readymades fundamentally altered our ideas of what art is, of how artists produce it, and of the institution of the museum – unlike no other idea in the art of the twentieth century”.  

Exhibition can be seen until 15 July 2012.

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Filed under Art, Painting, Photography, Thoughts

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