This exhibition aims to chart the artistic and personal relationships of three of the great figures in early twentieth-century art, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and Francis Picabia.
Together they created the Dada movement in New York during the First World War, and, unusually within the history of modern art, they remained friends, with periods of varying intensity, throughout their lives.At the heart of the friendships lay a shared outlook on life, manifested in their works through jokes and a sense of irony, iconoclastic gestures, and a pronounced, if often coded, interest in sexual relations and eroticism. Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabia aims to explore the various affinities and parallels between the work of these three, showing how they responded to each others’ ideas and innovations.
Picabia was a painter, Man Ray worked in all media but became celebrated as a photographer and Duchamp abandoned the life of a professional artist, yet became a revered figure for later generations of artists. The exhibition begins in the 1910s, with works showing the artists’ attempts to respond to and go beyond the implications of Cubism and abstraction. It will feature seminal early works including Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase (No.2) 1912 which created a furore when it was exhibited in America in 1913, Picabia’s I See Again in My Memory My Dear Udnie 1913-14 and Man Rays The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself with Her Shadows 1916.
Covering the period to the end of their careers and spanning nearly 40 years, the show will also feature Duchamp’s ready mades and optical experiments.
The exhibition will travel to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona from 26 June - 21 September 2008.
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