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Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain"

This research examines Marcel Duchamp's artwork Fountain. The research will set forth the historical and cultural context in which the work first presented and then discuss how it was received, its impact on the history of art, and how it affected and transformed art, including the relevance of art criticism of the work to its aesthetic significance.

No discussion of Duchamp's art would be complete without reference to the sundry trends and styles of modernism and postmodernism. And no account of Duchamp's Fountain can be considered complete that does not include reference to the manner in which his output as a whole both proceeds and departs from various trends. Indeed, the cultural context for the creation of Fountain as a work of modern art is as important to an understanding of it as is the fact of context as an aesthetic feature of the artifact.

It is a commonplace that modernism as an aesthetic category was a response to the representational conventions of Romanticism and classicism. Duchamp, born in 1887, was a youthful artistic contemporary of the late impressionists and postimpressionists, who were moving beyond representation and toward abstraction, beyond impression and toward expression. But whereas artistic currents such as Fauvism, Cubism, abstract expressionism, and the like attracted critical attention and the work of many artists in their own right, Duchamp as an individual artist very much moved beyond movements, currents, categories. It has been noted that his early paintings reflect influence from C├ęzanne for form and Fauvism for palette (Naumann 41). Duchamp was associated with Dadaist and Surrealist painters in the 1920s and 1930s, though later in life the most he would admit to was that some of his work emerged "in the same spirit" as Dadaism (Cabanne 56). His painting Nude Descending a Staircase, famously rejected by a famously avant-garde Paris art salon in 1912 and subsequently, controversially valorize...

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Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain". (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:58, May 26, 2020, from