The Private Worlds of Marcel Duchamp: Desire, Liberation, and the Self in Modern Culture

The Private Worlds of Marcel Duchamp: Desire, Liberation, and the Self in Modern Culture

by Jerrold Seigel
     
 

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"A superbly lucid interpretation of an artist who devoted himself to being enigmatic. This book combines elegant cultural history with compelling psychobiography to show how the desires to strip bare and hide, to speed forward and delay, to make choices and rely on chance, motivated Duchamp as artist and lover."--Stephen Kern, author of The Culture of Time andSee more details below

Overview

"A superbly lucid interpretation of an artist who devoted himself to being enigmatic. This book combines elegant cultural history with compelling psychobiography to show how the desires to strip bare and hide, to speed forward and delay, to make choices and rely on chance, motivated Duchamp as artist and lover."--Stephen Kern, author of The Culture of Time and Space

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Despite the author's cutural erudition and admiration for his subject, Seigel's work is flawed from the outset. Hoping to reveal Duchamp's personal motivations and thereby discover a coherence in his body of work, Seigel takes as his point of departure contradictions in the artist's philosophy (some real, some constructed here). There is little critical insight to be gained, however, from a wholistic approach to an artist whose goal was never to repeat himself. Seigal is not the first to dispute an artist's ability to be the best judge of his works, but here he essentially argues with Duchamp's intentions. Acknowledging the unconventionality of his viewpoint, Seigel goes to great lengths to anticipate and fend off criticism such as this. Ultimately, it may be proof that Duchamp succeeded in his endeavors to transcend such intrepretation that, when viewed through Seigel's psychobiographical matrix, Duchamp's works lose much of their depth of meaning. Not entirely without critical insight, but an inappropriate introduction to the artist, this is recommended only for larger collections.-Douglas McClemont, New York
Booknews
Seigel (history, New York U.) looks at interrelated themes that unify the 20th-century artist's work and entwine with his life, including fame, subjective spaces, motions and mysteries, the fourth dimension, and the self as other. He reinterprets Duchamp's infamous readymades, and links them to his paintings and to his experiments with language. He also discusses patterns of working and loving in the artist's personal life. Includes b&w photos, and color and b&w illustrations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520209039
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
06/23/1997
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
307
Product dimensions:
6.15(w) x 9.18(h) x 0.73(d)

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