Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dechamp's "Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2"

Dechamp, "Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2," 1912, Oil on Canvas

Labeled as one of the leading works of Modern art, Dechamp's painting epitomizes all Modern artists were about. The painting plays with organic shape forced in a geometric lense, blending Futurism with Cubism. It's color pallette, rather nude (pun intended), neutralizes all focus to occupy the subject matter. The painting acted as a great response to photography; not only does it contradict the realism photography produced, but it also recreated specific works of photography that had been created. In 1887, revolutionary photography Edweard Muybridge released a stop motion-based photograph of a naked woman walking down a staircase. Dechamp's piece seems to combine the nautre of this moving image with other works like Etienne-Jules Marey's "Man Walking," which provides a lonh-exposure of a person walking. Dechamp's work takes the subject matter of Muybridge's photograph and transplants it in a painting reminiscent of Marey's work. The painting brushed upon concepts that had not been discussed prior and boiled many people's blood while doing so. Though it reached fame at America's Armory Show, it was originally rejected in France at the Salon de Indpendencias

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