Download Alchemist of the Avant-Garde: The Case of Marcel Duchamp by John F. Moffitt PDF

By John F. Moffitt

A desirable booklet demonstrating the impression of alchemy and esoteric traditions at the mature artwork of Marcel Duchamp.

Acknowledged because the "Artist of the Century," Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) left a legacy that dominates the artwork international to this present day. Inventing the paradoxically dégagé angle of "ready-made" art-making, Duchamp heralded the postmodern period and changed Pablo Picasso because the function version for avant-garde artists. John F. Moffitt demanding situations typically authorized interpretations of Duchamp's artwork and personality through displaying that his mature paintings, after 1910, is essentially drawn from the impact of the occult traditions. Moffitt demonstrates that the main to knowing the cryptic that means of Duchamp's different works of art and writings is alchemy, the main pictorial of all of the occult philosophies and sciences.

This leading edge paintings background is written in a full of life, certain type. very similar to a prosecuting lawyer's short, Alchemist of the Avant-Garde argues its case with documented ancient facts, no longer theoretical types. a desirable learn, Moffitt's paintings may be welcomed through artists, artwork fanatics, and all these attracted to the cultural background of the fashionable and postmodern eras.

“…this vast and profound learn is extremely informative, thought-provoking and horizon-broadening.” — AMBIX, magazine of the Society for the background of Alchemy and Chemistry

"The complete booklet is unforeseen to those that have by no means thought of Duchamp as an alchemist, starting from the professors who comprise him of their artwork historical past surveys to the authors of even fatter books approximately him. Moffitt's a prolific and intensely commonly cultured writer, with specified services within the Renaissance and within the topic of forgery in addition to in these such a lot enigmatic of recent artists, Joseph Beuys and Marcel Duchamp. i will not identify the other artwork historian who is aware the esoteric box in addition to he does." — Joscelyn Godwin, writer of Theosophical Enlightenment

John F. Moffitt is Professor Emeritus of paintings historical past at New Mexico country collage. he's the writer of Spanish portray; Occultism in Avant-Garde artwork: The Case of Joseph Beuys; Velázquez, práctica e suggestion: Estudios dispersos; artwork Forgery: The Case of the woman of Elche; the humanities in Spain; and Picturing Extraterrestrials: Alien Imagery in smooth Mass tradition. he's coauthor (with Santiago Sebastián) of O courageous New humans: the eu Invention of the yankee Indian.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Prosecuting the Duchamp Case
1. An Esoteric French formative years for Duchamp: Symbolist tradition and Occultism
2. the discovery of the fashionable Alchemist-Artist
3. The Cultural Shaping of an Artist-Iconoclast: Duchamp in France, 1887–1915
4. Duchamp's First Experiments in Esoteric and Alchemical artwork, 1910–1912

5. Duchamp in long island with Esoteric buyers and the big Glass, 1915–1923
6. Alchemical Emblematics and the Ready-Mades, 1913–1923
7. The Esoteric Fourth measurement and legislation of likelihood, 1895–1923
8. The Circle Closes, 1923–1968
Epilogue: The Prosecution Rests

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Additional info for Alchemist of the Avant-Garde: The Case of Marcel Duchamp

Example text

The artistic result was Duchamp’s androgyne, in effect him/herself, “Rrose Sélavy” (see fig. 20). As is recognized by scholars of Balzac’s once immensely popular mystical novel, he had derived the myth of the Androgyne from Swedenborg. In Seraphita, one reads: To poets and writers, [Swedenborgism] is infinitely marvellous; to seers, it is all absolute truth. . By learning the correspondences, by which worlds are made to concur with the heavens, one comes to know about those correspondences which do exist between these visible and tangible things of this terrestrial world and those invisible and unfathomable things belonging to the spiritual world [choses invisibles et impondérables du monde spirituel].

Since we know that Duchamp read Kandinsky, why not Lévi as well? AN ESOTERIC FRENCH ADOLESCENCE FOR DUCHAMP 35 In short, any number of artists belonging to what was then a beleaguered avant-garde collectively believed and published statements to the effect that a wholly New Art was bound to transpire as one century merged into a bright new one. The year 1900 was rife with utopian and millennarian promise. Specifically, the new century promised an idealist and mystical new art, for which the most appropriate language was the dematerialized rhetoric of ethically pure abstraction.

As defined by Whitehead, who was not addressing any particularly modern notion of art, “to be abstract 20 ALCHEMIST OF THE AVANT-GARDE is to transcend particular concrete occasions of actual happenings [involving] consideration of the nature of things antecedently to any special investigation into their details. ’ ” Indeed! Overall, Whitehead concludes that “the old phraseology is at variance with the psychology of modern civilizations. ”23 In the voluminous critical and esthetic debate that surrounded Symbolist innovations it was always the traditional vocabulary of the Esoteric Tradition that best served to define the new aspirations.

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