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Marcel Duchamp’s Impact on American ArtThinzar Zaw Art 150: Art History Survey II: Renaissance to Modern Art (1300-Present) April 24, 2020
1 Marcel Duchamp was a French American artist and sculptor during the twentieth century most widely known for creating controversial and transgressive artwork. He rejected art intended to simply please the eye and focused his talents on the “readymade”1in which he demonstrated how art can be made of anything and required minimal intervention by the artist. Marcel Duchamp’s innovative art style and rejection of conventional “retinal” art had widespread impact on the development of conceptual art, fellow artists, and the Dada art movement. While the art during this time was predominantly composed of optical art intended to please the eye only, Marcel Duchamp acted in opposition to this trend. Duchamp emphasizes the superiority of “readymade” works of art over traditional methods. An infamous example of Duchamp’s readymade works is his urinal sculpture, Fountain.1Despite the simplicity of the sculpture, it was considered one of the most controversial and transgressive works of art in the modern age and was seen as an assault on artistic tradition. Even with the continuous criticism of