Duchamp: The Paradox of the Cartoon

  • Henry Moore Institute
  • Wednesday, 24 April 2019
  • Lecture by Prof. Didier Semin in the Institute's seminar room, starting at 6pm

The fact that Marcel Duchamp drew dozens of cartoons for French satirical magazines at the beginning of the 20th century has never been a secret. Duchamp himself always pretended one must not pay too much attention to these drawings. But what if such an attitude was another duchampian trick?

Making use of a detailed study by Liliane and Michel Durand-Dessert of Duchamp’s published cartoons and their dates, Prof. Didier Semin unpacks the hypothesis that these apparently irrelevant works were a key to Duchamp’s universe. After all, during his first years in Paris, Duchamp lived much more among the cartoonists than among the painters...

About the speaker

Didier Semin (b. France, 1954) graduated in art history at the University of Strasbourg, and has previously worked at the Musée national d’art moderne (Centre Pompidou), Paris, where he was responsible for the collection of contemporary art. Since 1999 he has been teaching at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris. Recent publications include Le Film et le champ de bataille, 2017; Duchamp: the Paradigm of the Cartoon, 2015; and Markus Raetz. Infimes distorsions, 2013.

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