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Duchamp’s Life and Legacy | Calvin Tomkins, Ann Temkin, Paul Chan | An Art Book Series Event

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January 29, 2014

Program Locations:

Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Margaret Liebman Berger Forum

FREE - Berger Forum doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Marcel Duchamp. Monte Carlo Bond (No. 12). 1924. Cut-and-pasted gelatin silver prints on lithograph with letterpress, 12 1/4 x 7 1/2" (31.2 x 19.3 cm). Gift of the artist. © 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel DuchampMarcel Duchamp. Monte Carlo Bond (No. 12). 1924. Cut-and-pasted gelatin silver prints on lithograph with letterpress, 12 1/4 x 7 1/2" (31.2 x 19.3 cm). Gift of the artist. © 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel DuchampMarcel Duchamp (1887–1968) is widely considered one of the most important artists of the twentieth century, yet his personal life remained an enigma throughout his avidly scrutinized career. In celebration of the new revised edition of Calvin Tomkins’s landmark biography of the artist, published by The Museum of Modern Art, the author joins in conversation with Ann Temkin, Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA, and artist Paul Chan to discuss Duchamp’s storied career, new revelations about his life discovered in recent years, and the lasting influence of his work on the art of today

First published to great acclaim in 1996, Duchamp: A Biography benefited from Tomkins’s unique vantage point as both an accomplished art critic and a friend of Duchamp’s since 1959. Aided by meticulous research and a series of long interviews with the artist, which were recently published in Marcel Duchamp: The Afternoon Interviews by Badlands Unlimited, Tomkins presents a piercing portrait of the artist, adeptly analyzing his work while also recounting his personal life, influences, and relationships.

Unknown photographer. Duchamp multiplied by hinged mirror. Copy print. 5 3/8 x 7" (13.6 x 17.8 cm). Photography Collection Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin.Unknown photographer. Duchamp multiplied by hinged mirror. Copy print. 5 3/8 x 7" (13.6 x 17.8 cm). Photography Collection Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin.Copies of Duchamp: A Biography are available for purchase and signing at the event.

Calvin Tomkins, a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1960, has written profiles of John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, Merce Cunningham, Leo Castelli, Damien Hirst, Richard Serra, Bruce Nauman, Cindy Sherman, and Jasper John, among others. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including the bestsellers The Bride and the Bachelors (1965); Living Well Is the Best Revenge (1971, reissued by The Museum of Modern Art in 2013); Merchants and Masterpieces: The Story of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1989); and Lives of Artists (2008). Tomkins was awarded the first Clark Prize for distinguished writing on the arts in 2007. He lives in New York City with his wife, Dodie Kazanjian

Ann Temkin is The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. She is the curator of the exhibition Ileana Sonnabend: Ambassador for the New, which opens on December 21st, and is preparing a retrospective exhibition of the work of Robert Gober for October 2014. Prior exhibitions at MoMA include Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today (2008) and Abstract Expressionist New York (2010). As curator of modern and contemporary art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from 1990 to 2003, she organized exhibitions including Thinking is Form: The Drawings of Joseph Beuys (1994); Constantin Brancusi (1995); and Barnett Newman (2002). 

 25 1/2” (64.8 cm) Base height: 23 1/2” (59.7 cm). Philadelphia Museum of Art. Given by the Schwartz Galleria d’Arte. © 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel DuchampMarcel Duchamp. Bicycle Wheel. 1964 (replica of 1913 original). Readymade. Wheel, painted wood. Diameter: 25 1/2” (64.8 cm) Base height: 23 1/2” (59.7 cm). Philadelphia Museum of Art. Given by the Schwartz Galleria d’Arte. © 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel DuchampPaul Chan is an artist who lives and works in New York. He founded Badlands Unlimited, a press devoted to publishing artists writings and writings about art in paper and digital forms in 2010. Chan is the publisher of Marcel Duchamp: The Afternoon Interviews (2012) by Calvin Tomkins. A survey of Chan's works will open at Schaulager in Basel, Switzerland, in April 2014.

In its sixth year the program series An Art Book, initiated and organized by Arezoo Moseni, is a celebration of the essential importance and beauty of art books. The events showcase book presentations and discussions by world renowned artists, critics, curators, gallerists, historians and writers.