Fountain By Marcel Duchamp

Fountain was made by the French painter Marcel Duchamp. The so-called fountain was actually a ceramic urinal, and the urinal was not made by Duchamp, but only bought from the shops. This painting was labeled with "R·Mutt" and was called Fountain. Duchamp himself described it as: "It is not important to judge who makes it, and the key lies in the choice of ordinary thing in real life and putting it in a new place. Given a new name and new angle, its original functions disappear, but a new content."



In 1917, Duchamp bought a urinal from a shop and named it Fountain. And he anonymously sent it to American Independent Exhibition and required it to be exhibited. This action aroused strong repercussions and became milepost type of modern art history event. The reason why Duchamp put the urinal named Fountain was that apart from its watery appearance, the irony for the spring painting by other painting masters was the truth. In 2004, in a poll held in the British art, Fountain beat the modern art master Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and the pop artist Andy Warhol's Gold Marilyn Monroe and was elected as the biggest influence in modern artworks. In this selection, the 64% judges voted for Duchamp, and Les Demoiselles d'Avignon made by Picasso ranking the second only got 42% of the votes. It was regarded as the founder of Cubism, also once was the art world in the first masterpiece of modern art.

Duchamp's Fountain was intended to question people about what the art was: nothing would let people to think of art or how it was expressed; they just assumed the art painting, or sculpture. So few people would take Fountain as a work of art. Is this urinal a work of art? In the process of transforming the urinal into an art, the change of name was so important. It was the change of this name that made people re-examine the object angle. The urinal in good taste could also be regarded as the elegant art.


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