quote by Charles Simic

Found objects, chance creations, ready-mades (mass-produced items promoted into art objects, such as Duchamp's "Fountain"-urinal as sculpture) abolish the separation between art and life. The commonplace is miraculous if rightly seen.

— Charles Simic

Revealing Duchamp quotations

I had thrown my body in for art... I had thrown myself into this game for art. You know, I was not a very good artist. But this was, like, one thing I could do. (On being photographed nude playing chess with Marcel Duchamp at Duchamp's 1963 retrospective at the Pasadena Museum of Art.)

In the '50s, to appropriate was a real no-no.

However, once you go from Duchamp to Jasper Johns to Warhol, appropriation becomes not only a common thing to do, but possibly the central way of working in the era we call postmodernism.

Appropriation was the language of my generation in many ways.

It came out of Duchamp, Warhol, Johns, Lichtenstein.

It became like a symbolic thing, to be “an artist.

” After Duchamp, I realized that being an artist is more about a lifestyle and attitude than producing some product.


I don't know if you've noticed it. But Duchamp was magnificent.

The second time I was there I met Marcel Duchamp, and we immediately fell for each other. Which doesn't mean a thing because I think anybody who met Marcel fell for him.

There are times when I prefer a cerebral moment with an artist, and I'll just enjoy the wit of a Picabia or a Duchamp. It amuses me that they thought that what they did would be a good way of making art.

Duchamp's urinal was art once he put it in a gallery.

In fact, one working definition of art is anything that is in a gallery.

Of course at that time, especially here in America, we were dealing with women's liberation. Things weren't so easy then. Méret Oppenheim wasn't so directly involved in this - she was in her 60s at that point. She found her strength through competing with the great male artists of her time; Max Ernst and Marcel Duchamp.


The thinking of John Cage derived from Duchamp and Dada. I was not interested in that.

[Photographer Julian Wasser] had this great idea that I should play chess naked with Marcel Duchamp and it seem to be such a great idea that it was just like the best idea I'd ever heard in my life. It was like a great idea. I mean, it was - Not only was it vengeance, it was art, and it was, like, a great idea. And even if it didn't get any vengeance, it would still turn out okay with me because, you know, I would be sort of immortalized.

Duchamp is known for calling a thing art, rather than making it.

A lot of that is picked up in pop art, too.

Doing crime films...maybe it's to some extent a matter of taste. Certainly my first novel had a criminal element and was about the similarity of criminals and artists. Pretextually, it was sort of a money bag thriller. But it was aggressively not what it seemed to be. It was kind of Duchamps.

Art you can flush down the loo means nothing to me, even were the loo to be selected by Marcel Duchamp


And then there is that one-man movement, Marcel Duchamp for me a truly modern movement because it implies that each artist can do what he thinks he ought to a movement for each person and open for everybody.

What attracted me about my mirrors was the idea of having nothing manipulated in them. A piece of bought mirror. Just hung there, without any addition, to operate immediately and directly. Even at the risk of being boring. Mere demonstration. The mirrors, and even more the Panes of Glass, were also certainly directed against Duchamp, against his Large Glass.

As I see it, all of them - Tachists, Action Painters, Informel artists, and the rest - are only part of an Informel movement that covers a lot of other things as well. I think there's an Informel element in Beuys, as well; but it all began with Duchamp and chance, or with Mondrian, or with the Impressionists. The Informel is the opposite of the constructional quality of classicism - the age of kings, or clearly formed hierarchies.

Two main groups like to drop the readymade bomb—galleries and art historians.

Galleries love to drop the Duchamp brand because dealers can try to convince clients of an artist’s worth just by mentioning the mouthwatering response readymade. Most Art Historians aren’t interested in what artists are making in Bushwick studios, most of whom rarely wake up with Duchamp on the brain.

All art (after Duchamp) is conceptual (in nature) because art only exists conceptually.


Alec Nevala-Lee comes roaring out of the gate with a novel that's as thrilling as it is thought-provoking, as unexpected as it is erudite. The Icon Thief is a wild ride through a fascinating and morally complex world, a puzzle Duchamp himself would have applauded. Bravo.

Damien Hirst is the Elvis of the English art world, its ayatollah, deliverer, and big-thinking entrepreneurial potty-mouthed prophet and front man. Hirst synthesizes punk, Pop Art, Jeff Koons, Marcel Duchamp, Francis Bacon, and Catholicism.