Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, Suzanne Duchamp (October 20, 1889 -- September 11, 1963)

Suzanne Duchamp

Suzanne Duchamp, Multiplication Brisee et Retablie (Broken and Re-Established Multiplication), 1918-19, Art Institute of Chicago

Suzanne Duchamp, Le Ready Made Malheureux de Marcel (Marcel's Unhappy Ready Made), 1919

Issue of Tabu: Printer: H. Chachoin Imp., Paris. 1921. Lithograph, 47 1/2 x 31 1/2" (125.6 x 80 cm). Purchase, Museum of Modern Art, New York City

Jean Crotti, Germaine Everling, Francis Picabia, Suzanne Duchamp on La Croisette, Cannes, 1921


  1. Around 4:00 p.m. today Francie and I were on the street and decided to go to the Duchamp family show I had read about in New York Magazine. But where was it?

    Blackberry-searched for Suzanne Duchamp and found not the show but this blog.

    Then found the show once I added 57, which was the street where I guessed it might be.

    We arrived and were the last ones and Dana the lovely and well informed young woman there learned from us that it was Suzanne's birthday and how we knew it. So she quickly emailed the gallerist, Francis Nauman, who had not remembered but it made him happy.

    It's a lovely show, rather dominated by Suzanne and Jacques rather than Marcel and Raymond but after all why not? A big and attractive new book about Marcel, collecting many old and four new essays, has been published to accompany the exhibition.

    Suzanne's pen drawing of Marcel and Jacques's oil portrait of his wife Gaby are highlights, but everything in the gallery is fascinating and, not surprisingly, fun. And there is at least one delightful piece of Duchamp ephemera, his place card for Henri Roche, that I had never seen in person before, and which needs to be seen in person to be understood.

    In short, the obsessed boy who introduced me to Duchamp 40 years ago today enabled me to celebrate Suzanne's birthday properly.

  2. Wow and super-thanks for this. (I think I must sound like the NY Times says Mitt Romney sounds based on that first sentence.) I wish I had seen the show. I'll look it up. I may be able to get to NY later this week on next Saturday, but we have our dachshund Andy coming home from U. of Penn Vet Hospital today (an additional back surgery), so that complicates things slightly. (By the way, we believe he's be fine and we can't wait to pick him up.) I love hearing that the blog popped up as it did. Once you've done this for a while, you find that things like that do happen and sometimes people even contact you asking interesting questions. The only complaint I've had to date, which involved me needing to remove a photo, had to do with a picture I posted of a nice-looking German sandwich called a krabbenbrot. That was weird (I included it in a blog post concerning mostly white paintings) but I guess you can't anticipate much of anything these days, except (in this area) the psychos trying to cut you off on the Schuylkill and video footage of former Gov. Rendell expressing himself utterly vaguely but with incredible force, certainty and an attempt to be ingratiating. (I think I would really hate to be a lawyer opposing him in a business deal.) The talents of the Duchamp family never cease to amaze me. This summer at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine we saw a remarkable painting show of images of Brittany and Normandy which included a Marcel Duchamp seascape I'd never seen, which was really excellent and held its own among some very heavyweight company. I'd like to revisit that museum and Portland again soon. It was a quiet place that day, they way museums are meant to be. The Philadelphia Museum, splendid as it is, has become like the Met and it's often difficult to get around there. That, of course, forces you into "unpopular" galleries, which can be great and let me to discover local (Paoli) architectural genius Wharton Esherick. The Barnes is the new belle-of-the-ball down here and, of course it's "nice," but the circumstances of its establishment will forever rankle. The only other news from down here were the predictable and appropriate local tributes to Arlen Spector (totally uncritical and going light on the politician/lawyer's sad endgame), which may even persist through the weekend since there's no Eagles game. But I doubt it. Politics easily disposes of the disposable, it seems. Ars longa and so are dachshunds. Curtis

  3. Did not know you had a dachshund, let alone one named Andy, whom God speed. I used to dislike the breed, being partial to bigger dogs, but all that's changed and now I fuss over them when encountered on the sidewalk. Near the top of Francie's favorites, too. They seem like awfully good sports.

    I won't repeat Hempstead's, or someone's, remark about a certain freshman picking up splinters off the Hurlburt floorboards, but I do worry about male dachshunds the same way. . . .

  4. I was also partial to larger dogs but we got the dachshunds for Jane and wanted to make sure that the dogs would be ones the cats felt they could easily handle. So apart from the fact that we have so many animals (which is quite wonderful also), the Peaceable Kingdom thing has worked out and Andy and Edie are both wonderful dogs and companions. He's doing well and the road to recovery he's embarked on is one where we know the drill, so although it will be arduous, we feel really lucky. Now, if only we have a mild winter, things will be ideal. Such are the concerns of the dogwalker. Curtis