Exercise 1 – Fountain by Marcel Duchamp


Marcel Duchamp ‘Fountain’, 1917, replica 1964 © Succession Marcel Duchamp/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016

Fig. 1 Fountain (1917-1964)


I already knew this icon work by Marcel Duchamp so my reaction cannot be really fresh and innocent, but I shall do my best to see it with new eyes:

– The Fountain is not at all pretty but very forceful, unpleasant and rude, a slap in the face of the onlooker (me), teasing, amusing

– I am not shocked anymore, a century has passed, but it is not difficult to guess the outrageous reactions when the visitors saw it in an exhibition for the very first time in 1917. After all, as Grayson Perry funnily remembered in his first Reith lecture, in many countries the most desirable painting, even today, is still “a landscape with a few figures around, animals in the foreground, mainly blue” (BBC, 2013)

– Having a new look at The Fountain it suddenly came to me that today’s trend – mine included – for reusing the “found object” in the arts and crafts (jewellery, textiles, mixed media paintings and sculptures) has its roots among other things in Duchamp’s ready-mades

I really think that Duchamp is still very vital and influential as an artist and that his ideas are still very contemporary and far from being exhausted.


List of illustrations

Figure 1. Duchamp, Marcel (1917, replica 1964) Fountain [sculpture] At:  http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/duchamp-fountain-t07573  (accessed on 31.07.16)



BBC Radio 4 (2013) The Reith Lectures, Grayson Perry: Playing to the Gallery: 2013 1 [online] 15.10.13. At:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03969vt (accessed on 27.07.16)


One thought on “Exercise 1 – Fountain by Marcel Duchamp

  1. Pingback: Research point #2 – Notes on the use of text in art | daniela maschera

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s