Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Bride’ After She Tripped?

THE DAILY PIC: At MoMA, the 'Bride' is more Dada without her stairs.

THE DAILY PIC (#1586): It’s probably safe to say that The Bride, painted by Marcel Duchamp in 1912, is the most straightforwardly precious work in the fabulous “Dadaglobe Reconstructed” show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which I discussed in yesterday’s Pic.

I’ve seen the painting before, in its home at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, but never really thought much about it. Surrounded by dozens of Dada works, however, as it now is at MoMA, its radicalism gets underlined.

American punters famously got all riled up at Duchamp’s Bride Descending the Staircase. Their stupidity wasn’t in failing to appreciate the brilliant radicalism of that painting, but in seeing it as more radical than it was. Compared to many Picassos of that era, and to almost everything Duchamp ever made, the Staircase is a fairly simpleminded study in time and space. Whereas today’s Pic recasts womankind – or maybe the Blessed Virgin Mary of Renaissance altarpieces – as a cyborg steam engine. (© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel Duchamp)

For a full survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.


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