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Marcel Duchamp’s artworks featured in Seoul museum

Posted December. 28, 2018 07:31,   

Updated December. 28, 2018 07:31


Matthew Affron, a curator of Modern Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, describes Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) who opened up the door to modern arts of the 20th century. His exhibition “Marcel Duchamp” opened Saturday at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul. The exhibition displays Duchamp’s some 150 pieces that are possessed by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the United States.

The exhibition leads you to appreciate Duchamp’s pieces by chronological order from his early years to his late times. The pieces were exclusively chosen to portray Duchamp’s life and his view of arts so that a series of exhibitions can be displayed in Tokyo, Seoul and Sydney - from his early paintings to ready-made pieces such as “Fountain” and “Bottle Rack” to late-age miniatures and sculptures to his last piece “Étant donnés.” Duchamp raises an aesthetic question to think out of the box in terms of hand-made arts and make ideas into arts. Most ready-made pieces of Duchamp were fabricated again after he became famous in the 1950s. What matters is not an object but a piece of idea.

“Duchamp made sure that his pieces are gathered in one place. He participated in exhibitions and catalogue designs when museums started possessing pieces in the 1940s,” Matthew said. “He advised his sponsor, the Arensbergs, on purchase of works of art. He realized that putting his pieces together could make next generations appreciate his works as he only has a small number of pieces and context matters.”

Min Kim kimmin@donga.com