Conceptual art, Dada, and Marcel DuChamp

There are few periods of art I intensely dislike, but I guess one of them is Conceptualism. This first started when I was introduced to Marcel DuChamp when I was 17. (A Dadaist but this was the precursor movement to Conceptual art). I thought he was a clever fraud. I did like his Nude Descending a Stairway (cubism), and his Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors (Dada and Surrealism) which I ridiculously actually got to see in Venice. (When young, I traveled). I don’t even know why I liked the Bride–maybe because I like glass and metal. But the love ended there. I also worked at an art school and was nonplussed by the conceptual art the students were making. So I’ve been going through artists works, looking to see if I can believe in any of it, like any of it. Some of their work is about the interaction between the viewer and artist but really, isn’t all art like that?

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Marcel DuChamp with an attractive model. Just behind them, the sculpture work The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors

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About kinneret

Hello, and welcome. I'm writing this blog under an alias. Why an alias? I started to write what may be described as an "American Gothic" novel (sort of Henry James/ Franz Kafka with violence) with some autobiographical details. ..when I started this blog I just decided to use the alias. This blog is about art and art history, but my interests also include literature, film analysis, psychology, forensic psychology, faerie tale analysis, cognitive therapy, cognitive linguistics, classical theater, World War II, and Russian and British history. My favorite writers include Kafka, the Brontes, and Philip K Dick. Thank you for reading this blog and I will happily reply to any comments.
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8 Responses to Conceptual art, Dada, and Marcel DuChamp

  1. passajer says:

    As much as I don’t like names for pieces of “art”, I don’t think it helps grouping pieces or artists into groups/families/schools/genres of creative style. It immediately tells me how to think and what to think. I like to see visual art without any names and without being told what to think about it, then I can make up my own mind. From what I have experienced so far there is “good” and “bad” (i.e. what I like and don’t like) in every group/family/school/genre.
    When I first fell across “The bride stripped bare…” when I was a teenager I also like it because it was different to anything else I had seen. Humans seem to be pulled in 2 different directions – they like the comfort and security of something they have seen before and are familiar with, but they also crave something new and unexpected and something they have never seen before.
    Well that’s my point of view now. No doubt it will change again as I grow older and change myself 🙂

    • kinneret says:

      Interesting that you also saw it young. I still like it. It is whimsical. Many artists cross over styles or create works in different styles and still others defy a category. I’m sure that taxonomies are meant to help us when we talk about general styles but your point is well taken.

  2. 4t4m4t4 says:

    Reblogged this on 4t4m4t4 and commented:
    Conceptual art, Dada, and Marcel DuChamp

  3. Conceptual art is worse than a fraud, it’s a tool of oppression. It’s a variation of 1984’s 2+2=5. No wonder it’s so hyped by elitists, it demonstrates their control over culture.

    • kinneret says:

      I agree, Richard. On the other hand, one of the new trends in Brooklyn NY is hyperrealism. I wonder if the artists are less pretentious since the art is less. But then again, Brooklyn is hell and back on pretentiousness these days.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for visiting true outsider, my friend. There are a couple books you might consider reading if you want to get the lowdown on just how much of a lowlife Duchamp was. Julian Spaulding’s “Con Art” and Exquisite Corpse: Surrealism and the Black Dahlia Murder. The former is solidly research. The latter is more speculative, but still filled with a lot of interesting information. I lived in Brooklyn for many years in the 80s/90s. NYC went from bad to worse the entire time.

    The girl in the photo is Eve Babitz. Slept around with the LA cool set, including Jim Morrison. A quite good bio of the Doors is called “Love Becomes a Funeral Pyre.” It dispels a lot of the mythmaking around the Doors and that historical period in general. One sees how commercial interests pulverized everything in their path….

    Cheers,
    Bart

    • kinneret says:

      I know what you are talking about re the Black Dahlia. I didn’t read that specific book but another one about the Black Dahlia Avenger with the same information. I agree it seems questionable although of course that sort of narcissistic anti-social deviance and possible violence is a different matter from his crass commercialization of art. One thing that really pisses me off is how much art has been devalued through its monetization: Klimt on shower curtains and the like.

  5. kinneret says:

    Thanks for the info about the model btw.

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