Thesis Statement: Marcel Duchamp is one of the most influential artists of his time because of his unique approach to art, integration of art and life, and ability to provoke thought within the viewer.
I. The life of Marcel Duchamp
a. Where and when he was born
b. Where and when he produced most of his art (Paris and New York)
c. Examples of art that caused controversy
II. Impact of Artwork, the rise of Dada
a. How Duchamp influenced Dada
i. Dada in Paris
ii. Dada in New York
iii. Dada Quote
“I have supported Dad and Surrealism because they were hopeful signs, but they never had attraction enough to absorb me. I wished to show man the limited place of his reason, but Dada wanted to substitute unreason. The substitution was not a great improvement. By adding ‘un’ they thought they changed a great deal, but they had not. Surrealism gave itself to other things, communism, and Freud, for instance. It was a sham. Here was a group of bright young men who were dissatisfied and wished to do something. But they lost their sense of freedom. They should have invented their own utopias, and formulated their own theories instead of taking other people’s ideas. Then they might have done something” (Cantz 98).
b. How the public reacted to his work
i. Urinal piece
ii. L.H.O.O.Q. rasée (Mona Lisa piece)
c. Famous artists who are well-known for their Duchamp influences.
III. Duchamp’s unique approach to art.
i. Roue de bicyclette
ii. The Large Glass
iii. Quote on ready-made’s
“…and, even though I tried in that big glass to find a completely personal and new expression, the final product was to be a wedding of mental and visual reactions. In other words, the ideas in the Glass are more important than the actual visual experience” (Cantz 35).
b. Why Duchamp focused on unconventional art and his reasons behind such work.
III. Integration of art and life
a. Quote on Happenings
“Happenings. I love the happenings. I know Kaprow and all these… and it’s always amusing. The point that they brought out so well, and an interesting one, is they play of boredom. It has been…they are not discovering that, but it’s very interesting to have used boredom as a name… aimed to, to attract a public. In other words, the public comes to a happening not to be amused, [but] to be bored. And that’s quite an invention, quite a contribution to new ideas, isn’t it?” (Naumann 306).
b. The influence of real life on Duchamp’s work.
IV. Shock value and how he provoked thought.
a. Quote about viewer
“…for the viewer establishes contact between the work and the outside world by deciphering and interpreting its deeper qualities, thereby making his own contribution to the creative process” (Masheck 60).
b. Work that inspired controversy and how the public reacted