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October 8, 1999  - October 30, 1999


installation view   installation view   Richard Pettibone   Richard Pettibone  

  Apropos of Marcel Duchamp
Making Art After Marcel Duchamp in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

October 8 — 30, 1999


The Curt Marcus Gallery is pleased to present APROPOS of MARCEL: Making Art After Marcel Duchamp in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, an exhibition organized by noted Duchamp scholar Francis M. Naumann. The show consists of work by four American artists — Mike Bidlo, Sherrie Levine, Richard Pettibone, and Elaine Sturtevant — all of whom have used the strategy of appropriation as a means by which to create their own unique and independent approaches to the art-making process.

These four artists have at various times in their careers appropriated the art of Marcel Duchamp, beginning in the 1960s (while Duchamp was still living) by Richard Pettibone and Elaine Sturtevant and, nearly two decades later, by Sherrie Levine and Mike Bidlo in the 1980s. Although they have all based their appropriated imagery on the work of other well known artists, this exhibition is devoted exclusively to the work they made after the art of Marcel Duchamp.

Approximately forty works will be included in the exhibition. Pettibone (an artist represented by the gallery) will show two of the five Bicycle Wheels that he made in 1965 and which were included in his first one-person show at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, as well as ten other paintings and sculptures that he made over the course of the following thirty-five years, all of which were directly inspired by the precedence of Duchamp. Elaine Sturtevant, who was the first to appropriate the work of her contemporaries, will also be represented in the exhibition by work that she "repeated" (a term she prefers over appropriation) after Duchamp, several of which were made while the artist was still living. Sherrie Levine will be represented by one of her six "Bachelors," frosted glass casts based on figures located in the lower section of Duchamp’s Large Glass and displayed in a vitrine, as well as an example of her infamous bronze urinals from the 1990s. Finally, Mike Bidlo will show a painted replica of Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, as well as select examples of the readymades, including the Bicycle Wheel, Bottle Rack and Fountain, all of which he appropriately entitles "Not Duchamp."

A fully-illustrated, forty-page catalogue will accompany this exhibition and includes a text by Francis M. Naumann that not only contextualizes the work of the four artists, but also explicates the rationale and intent of appropriation as a unique and original means of artistic expression. "The appropriationists have made it possible to reinterpret Duchamp’s own habits of replication and see them in fresh ways," wrote the noted art historian and critic Robert Rosenblum. "Naumann has magisterially woven together his readings of Duchamp with the first over-all view of the artistic consequences of his principles in the making of and the response to replicated art today."

The exhibition coincides with the release of Francis M. Naumann’s forthcoming book, Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Making Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, published by Ludion Press, Ghent, Belgium, and distributed in the U.S. by Harry N. Abrams, New York. An exhibition based on his book will be held concurrently at the Achim Moeller Fine Art, New York.

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