If you are a fan or even passingly aware of Marcel Duchamp , you likely have heard of works of his: Nude Descending a Staircase to Fountain to Large Glass. They are all well known With the arrival of NFTs on the art scene, I was reminded of another of his works not so well known: Monte Carlo Bonds. As Wikipedia explains:
The Monte Carlo Bonds were a 1924 Marcel Duchamp work in the form of legal documents, created as bonds, originally intended to be produced in editions of 30. The creation of the work came out of Duchamp’s repeated experiments at the Monte Carlo Casino, where he endlessly threw the dice in order to accumulate profit through an excruciatingly gradual process.
The use of an artificial and random process is not unlike using blockchain for NFTs. And while both methods are associated with art, the primary purpose seems to be to generate profit. Duchamp was well ahead of his time.
Christie’s has more on these bonds.
If you are a fan of Dada as I am, you owe it to yourself to visit this site. This archive site is a wealth of material on Dadaism and Surrealism.
Dada is over a century old, but still relevant, in my opinion. Art was never the same after it. If you need an introduction to Dada, the wikipedia page can get you going.
I was happy to come across this exhibit on one of the fine artists from the DaDa era: Stories — Sophie Taeuber-Arp: Modern Master – Hauser & Wirth.
I’ve read a number of books and other pieces on DaDa and I always felt that she never gets enough recognition for the fine work she did. I’m happy to see she is getting it here. If you want to learn more about her and her work, follow the link.
Someone made a reference to outsider art this week and it sent me researching some links on it. Like Dada, outsider art is one of the most interesting things about 20th century art, though of course it has no specific time period. It challenges everything about the art world, even as the art world tries to incorporate it.
If you don’t know much outsider art, here are some places you can start to learn more:
From there, Google as much as you can.
(Image of Jean Dubuffet via the Guggenheim)