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Monday, June 07, 2010

Philadelphia Museum of Art: Duchamp influenced by Muybridge

Marcel Duchamp - Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (1912)
Oil on canvas

It is at Philadelphia Museum of Art, and it's a great example of what Dynamic Decomposition means within the Cubist style.

Actually Dynamic Decomposition is tending to leave the Cubist room while opening the eyes on Futurist motivations.

Says Gilles NĂ©ret, Cubism sought to bring to light the essence of the picture; Futurism saw in the picture an ideal locus for expressing the contradictions and the tensions of the modern world.

If we look at the work of Marcel Duchamp, we can realize that it is a transgression from both styles. The Nude Descending a Staircase is Cubist in form, while Futuristic in content (if I am allowed to paraphrase here a famous, or rather infamous, expression).

Well, this painting of Duchamp was a replica to Eadweard Muybridge's Woman Walking Downstairs.

Following Muybridge, Marcel Duchamp is trying to split the second: to render in his work both the whole and the moment.


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