Duchamp Practise Essay

Using aspects of the Conceptual Framework, explain how Duchamp’s works challenge artistic traditions and historically-held notions of the artwork and artist.
Duchamp revolutionised the art world in1917 when he attempted to exhibit ‘Fountain’. His signed ceramk urinal was rejected for exhibits but Duchamp succeeded in making several profoundly challenging and significant points against the traditions and history of art. Within Visual Arts, the conceptual Framework investigates the interconnected network of the agencies of the art world – the artwork, artists and audience existing within the world.

Duchamp conceives and creates artworks – however in this case Duchamp challenged the historically-held notion of the artist by utilising pre-made and purchased objects rather than creating something with his own hands. This significant break with tradition has led to many contemporary artists filling the roles as a collaborator or conceptual originator depends on a team to ensure the art work’s creation.

Duchamp called his pre-made and bought art objects ‘readymade’ and started that ‘Whether Mr.Mutt with his own hands made the fountain or not has no importance. He CHOSE it. He took an ordinary object of life. . . (and) created a new thought for that object’.

With readymade, Duchamp challenged the rationale of art and drew into question the dynamic relationships between artist, audience and gallery; the web of the ‘Conceptual Framework’. If art was what the artist selected and said it was, could anything be art? Was everything art? Would nothing henceforth be art?

In ‘Bicycle Wheel’ Duchamp combined two readymade items and unconsciously created a sculptural piece with engaging visual qualities. However Duchamp was interested only in breaking art traditions, such as the tradition of classical figurative sculpture and use of materials like marble, and even modernist metal construction sculpture. So, in stark contrast, Duchamp utilised a common timber stool and a...