By John F. Moffitt

A desirable e-book demonstrating the impression of alchemy and esoteric traditions at the mature artwork of Marcel Duchamp.

Acknowledged because the "Artist of the Century," Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) left a legacy that dominates the paintings international to at the present time. Inventing the paradoxically dégagé perspective of "ready-made" art-making, Duchamp heralded the postmodern period and changed Pablo Picasso because the position version for avant-garde artists. John F. Moffitt demanding situations normally accredited interpretations of Duchamp's paintings and character by means of displaying that his mature artwork, after 1910, is essentially drawn from the impact of the occult traditions. Moffitt demonstrates that the most important to knowing the cryptic that means of Duchamp's assorted artistic endeavors and writings is alchemy, the main pictorial of all of the occult philosophies and sciences.

This leading edge artwork heritage is written in a full of life, designated kind. very like a prosecuting lawyer's short, Alchemist of the Avant-Garde argues its case with documented ancient proof, no longer theoretical types. a desirable learn, Moffitt's paintings should be welcomed by way of artists, paintings fans, and all these drawn to the cultural background of the fashionable and postmodern eras.

“…this vast and profound study is extremely informative, thought-provoking and horizon-broadening.” — AMBIX, magazine of the Society for the background of Alchemy and Chemistry

"The entire publication is unforeseen to those that have by no means thought of Duchamp as an alchemist, starting from the professors who contain him of their artwork heritage surveys to the authors of even fatter books approximately him. Moffitt's a prolific and extremely broadly cultured writer, with targeted services within the Renaissance and within the topic of forgery in addition to in these such a lot enigmatic of contemporary artists, Joseph Beuys and Marcel Duchamp. i can't identify the other artwork historian who understands the esoteric box in addition to he does." — Joscelyn Godwin, writer of Theosophical Enlightenment

John F. Moffitt is Professor Emeritus of paintings historical past at New Mexico nation collage. he's the writer of Spanish portray; Occultism in Avant-Garde paintings: The Case of Joseph Beuys; Velázquez, práctica e notion: Estudios dispersos; artwork Forgery: The Case of the woman of Elche; the humanities in Spain; and Picturing Extraterrestrials: Alien Imagery in smooth Mass tradition. he's coauthor (with Santiago Sebastián) of O courageous New humans: the eu Invention of the yankee Indian.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Prosecuting the Duchamp Case
1. An Esoteric French formative years for Duchamp: Symbolist tradition and Occultism
2. the discovery of the trendy Alchemist-Artist
3. The Cultural Shaping of an Artist-Iconoclast: Duchamp in France, 1887–1915
4. Duchamp's First Experiments in Esoteric and Alchemical paintings, 1910–1912

5. Duchamp in ny with Esoteric buyers and the big Glass, 1915–1923
6. Alchemical Emblematics and the Ready-Mades, 1913–1923
7. The Esoteric Fourth size and legislation of likelihood, 1895–1923
8. The Circle Closes, 1923–1968
Epilogue: The Prosecution Rests

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Extra resources for Alchemist of the Avant-Garde: The Case of Marcel Duchamp

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Mesmer explained in his Mémoire sur la découverte du magnétisme animal that Animal magnetism is a fluid universally diffused; it is the medium of a mutual influence between the heavenly bodies, the earth, and animated bodies; it is everywhere continuous, so as to leave no void. Its subtlety admits of no comparison; it is capable of receiving, propagating, communicating all the impressions of motions. . The actions and the virtues of animal magnetism may be communicated from one body to another, animate and inanimate.

The basic occultist pattern endlessly repeats itself, regardless of explicit function, supposed doctrinal differences, or dates of publication. On the other hand, Swedenborgism is acknowledged by historians to have been an all-pervasive factor in early modernist cultural life in France. In a poem aptly titled “Correspondences” (ca. 1861), Charles Baudelaire wrote, “Nature is a temple with living columns, whence often exit a few confused words. ”37 For Baudelaire and his devotees, all this eventually led to a dark but profound Onement, an ineffable l’Unité that is infinite, like both the night of the temporal world and the clarity of sensation that comes with spiritual enlightenment.

This procedure will not only clarify the problems of linguistics, but rituals, customs, etc. 22 An erudite contemporary’s retrospective summation of what seemed to be transpiring, in effect a significant shift in focus from objects to relations, is Alfred North Whitehead’s Science and the Modern World (1925). Looking back over what seemed to constitute a newly entrenched modernist perception of the world around him, Whitehead recognized that “this new tinge to modern minds is a vehement and passionate interest in the relation of general principles to irreducible and stubborn facts [now] absorbed in the weaving of general principles.

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