Dancing around the Bride: Cage, Cunningham, Johns, Rauschenberg, and Duchamp

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Overview

This fascinating book explores the interwoven lives, radical art, and shared experimental spirit of Marcel Duchamp and four of America's most important postwar artists: composer John Cage, choreographer Merce Cunningham, and visual artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. The publication traces the relationships among all five of these artists by mapping their intersections and examining the depth of their artistic exchanges.

At the heart of the publication is an anthology of key texts from selected interviews, magazine articles, and book excerpts, by scholars, critics, and the artists themselves, that together narrate the younger generation's first connections to Duchamp and his work, which would profoundly redefine his legacy as well as the entire field of contemporary art. A new text by Calvin Tomkins provides an insightful first-person account of his encounters with these artists at a key moment in the 1960s. The book also includes the first extensive chronology that recounts the lives, art, and common projects of this influential group of artists.

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Editorial Reviews

The Buffalo News
“among the greatest written explications of the American midcentury avant-garde anywhere.”—The Buffalo News 
Library Journal
Published in conjunction with an eponymous exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and described as a "reader" rather than a catalog, this anthology examines the influence of avant-garde icon Marcel Duchamp on composer John Cage, choreographer Merce Cunningham, and visual artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. The "Bride" of the title refers to Duchamp's masterpiece "The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even" (1915–23), a painting that inspired individual as well as collaborative works from this quartet of creators. In essays, articles, interviews, and recollections gathered here by editors Basualdo (Keith L. and Katherine Sachs curator, contemporary art, Philadelphia Museum of Art) and Battle (curatorial assistant, modern & contemporary art, Philadelphia Museum of Art), critics, scholars, and the artists themselves explore Duchamp's legacy and its effects on contemporary art. Also included are a section of color plates representing a selection of works from the exhibit and a chronology tracing the lives and works of this extraordinary group of artists. VERDICT Readers interested in visual and kinetic forms of postwar avant-garde art will savor this collection.—Carolyn M. Mulac, Chicago P.L.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300189254
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 1/8/2013
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Carlos Basualdo is the Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Curator of Contemporary Art, and Erica F. Battle is project curatorial assistant, modern and contemporary art, both at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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