2005 Student Research Conference:
18th Annual Student Research Conference

Fine Arts

Marcel Duchamp and the Canon of Art
Melissa B. Prillaman
Dr. Julia DeLancey, Dr. Sara Orel, and Prof. John Bohac , Faculty Mentors

The art historical canon, although fluid and constantly changing, determines who and what will warrant interest and scholarship. Within the past century, the canon has been codified in the form of art history textbooks and has evolved past the inclusion of chiefly representational and “high” art. Marcel Duchamp, with his anti-establishment attitude and readymades, challenged the definition of art and consequently challenged the canon. Studying his association with New York avant-garde artists and Dada helps to understand his character and anti-art motives. A study of his artistic growth through Cubism, Abstractionism, and eventually the advent of his readymades, as well as an understanding of the social context of the early twentieth century helps to provide a foundation for understanding and appreciating his artistic contributions. This paper asserts that Marcel Duchamp’s controversial output exerted a strong influence on the development of twentieth-century avant-garde art and the continuing development of the canon.

Keywords: Marcel Duchamp, canon, avant-garde, readymade

Topic(s):Art History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 4-4
Location: OP 2210
Time: 9:00

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