Marcel Duchamp was a well-known French painter, sculptor, and writer known for his unconventional works. He was interested in arts since childhood and by the time he stepped into teenage he started painting remarkably and started exhibiting his paintings at famous art galleries. He went on to make various paintings before the most controversial painting of his career, the ‘Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2’. This painting faced rejection but was finally exhibited in the ‘Armory Show’ where it became the center of attraction. He further took a short break to make one of the notable paintings of his career ‘3 Standard Stoppages’. He further went on to create art with everyday objects and made his first ‘readymade’ work called ‘Bottle Rack’ which was made with a bottle. He further made many such realistic arts but the most notable one was ‘The Large Glass’. He made this in a period of eight years and is made in such a way that each piece has a hidden meaning. We have compiled the famous quotes and sayings by the ambidextrous artist. Go through the collection of quotations and thoughts by Marcel Duchamp, the man aspired to use art in order to serve the mind.
Tradition is the great misleader because it's too easy to follow what has already been done - even though you may think you're giving it a kick. I was really trying to invent, instead of merely expressing myself.
I was never interested in looking at myself in an aesthetic mirror. My intention was always to get away from myself, though I knew perfectly well that I was using myself. Call it a little game between 'I' and 'me.'
One must pass through the network of influence. One is obligated to be influenced, and one accepts this influence very naturally. From the start, one doesn't realize this. The first thing to know: one doesn't realize one is influenced. One thinks he is already liberated, and one is far from it!
What art is, in reality, is this missing link, not the links which exist. It's not what you see that is art; art is the gap.
I haven't been in the Louvre for twenty years. It doesn't interest me because I have these doubts about the value of the judgments which decided that all these pictures should be presented to the Louvre instead of others which weren't even considered.
The last hundred years have been retinal; even the cubists were. The surrealists tried to free themselves, and earlier so had the dadaists, but unfortunately, these latter were nihilists and didn't produce enough to prove their point, which, by the way, they didn't have to prove - according to their theory.
'Art or anti-art?' was the question I asked when I returned from Munich in 1912 and decided to abandon pure painting or painting for its own sake. I thought of introducing elements alien to painting as the only way out of a pictorial and chromatic dead end.
In France, in Europe, the young artists of any generation always act as grandsons of some great man - Poussin, for example, or Victor Hugo. They can't help it. Even if they don't believe in that, it gets in their system. And so when they come to produce something of their own, the tradition is nearly indestructible.
I refused to accept anything, doubted everything. So, doubting everything, I had to find something that had not existed before, something I had not thought of before. Any idea that came to me, the thing would be to turn it around and try to see it with another set of senses.
Rational intelligence is dangerous and leads to ratiocination. The painter is a medium who doesn't realize what he is doing. No translation can express the mystery of sensibility, a word, still unreliable, which is nevertheless the basis of painting or poetry, like a kind of alchemy.
One does not contemplate it like a picture. The idea of contemplation disappears completely. Simply take note that it's a bottle rack, or that it's a bottle rack that has changed its destination... It's not the visual question of the readymade that counts; it's the fact that it exists, even.
The 'Glass' is not my autobiography, nor is it self-expression. Far from it.
When I put a bicycle wheel on a stool, the fork down, there was no idea of a 'ready-made' or anything else. It was just a distraction. I didn't have any special reason to do it, or any intention of showing it or describing anything.
The word 'art' interests me very much. If it comes from Sanskrit, as I've heard, it signifies 'making.' Now everyone makes something, and those who make things on a canvas with a frame, they're called artists. Formerly, they were called craftsmen, a term I prefer. We're all craftsmen, in civilian or military or artistic life.
In the 'Nude Descending a Staircase,' I wanted to create a static image of movement: movement is an abstraction, a deduction articulated within the painting, without our knowing if a real person is or isn't descending an equally real staircase.
Things were sort of Bohemian in Montmartre - one lived, one painted, one was a painter - all that doesn't mean anything, fundamentally.
Since Courbet, it's been believed that painting is addressed to the retina. That was everyone's error. The retinal shudder! Before, painting had other functions: it could be religious, philosophical, moral... our whole century is completely retinal, except for the Surrealists, who tried to go outside it somewhat.
All painting, beginning with Impressionism, is antiscientific, even Seurat. I was interested in introducing the precise and exact aspect of science, which hadn't often been done, or at least hadn't been talked about very much.
There does not exist a painter who knows himself or knows what he is doing.
The danger is in pleasing an immediate public: the immediate public that comes around you and takes you in and accepts you and gives you success and everything. Instead of that, you should wait for fifty years or a hundred years for your true public. That is the only public that interests me.
In the beginning, the cubists broke up form without even knowing they were doing it. Probably the compulsion to show multiple sides of an object forced us to break the object up - or, even better, to project a panorama that unfolded different facets of the same object.
If only America would realize that the art of Europe is finished - dead - and that America is the country of the art of the future, instead of trying to base everything she does on European traditions!
I shy away from the word 'creation.' In the ordinary, social meaning of the word - well, it's very nice, but fundamentally, I don't believe in the creative function of the artist. He's a man like any other.
I became a librarian at the Sainte-Genevieve Library in Paris. I made this gesture to rid myself of a certain milieu, a certain attitude, to have a clean conscience, but also to make a living. I was twenty-five. I had been told that one must make a living, and I believed it.
The curious thing about the Ready-Made is that I've never been able to arrive at a definition or explanation that fully satisfies me. There's still magic in the idea, so I'd rather keep it that way than try to be exoteric about it.
Why are all the artists so dead-set on distorting? It seems to be a reaction against photography, but I'm not sure.
Painter after painter, since the beginning of the century, has tended toward abstraction. First, the Impressionists simplified the landscape in terms of color, and then the Fauves simplified it again by adding distortion, which, for some reason, is a characteristic of our century.
The entire world of art has reached such a low level, it has been commercialized to such a degree that art and everything related to it has become one of the most trivial activities of our epoch.
I never finished the 'Large Glass' because, after working on it for eight years, I probably got interested in something else; also, I was tired. It may be that, subconsciously, I never intended to finish it because the word 'finish' implies an acceptance of traditional methods and all the paraphernalia that accompany them.
My Ready-Mades have nothing to do with the 'objet trouve' because the so-called 'found object' is completely directed by personal taste. Personal taste decides that this is a beautiful object and is unique.
I like living, breathing better than working...my art is that of living. Each second, each breath is a work which is inscribed nowhere, which is neither visual nor cerebral, it's a sort of constant euphoria.
I would have to think about it for two or three months before I decided to do something which would have meaning. And it would have to be more than just an impression or pleasure. I would need an objective, a meaning. That is the only thing that could help me.
The great problem was the selection of the readymade. I needed to choose an object without it impressing me: that is to say, without it providing any sort of aesthetic delectation. Moreover, I needed to reduce my own personal taste to absolute zero.
Do unto others as they wish, but with imagination.
The basis for my own work during the years just before coming to America in 1915 was a desire to break up forms - to 'decompose' them much along the lines the cubists had done. But I wanted to go further - much further - in fact, in quite another direction altogether.
You have to approach something with indifference, as if you had no aesthetic emotion. The choice of readymades is always based on visual indifference and, at the same time, on the total absence of good or bad taste.
When cubism began to take a social form, Metzinger was especially talked about. He explained cubism, while Picasso never explained anything. It took a few years to see that not talking was better than talking too much.
Gravity is not controlled physically in us by one of the 5 ordinary senses. We always reduce a gravity experience to an autocognizance, real or imagined, registered inside us in the region of the stomach.