The Bride Stripped Bare: Esoteric Origins for Duchamp’s Large Glass, Jacquelynn Baas, δημοσίευση στο Interalia MagazineMarilena Pateraki
Hidden as it was for such a long time, Marcel Duchamp’s ‘The Large Glass’, is an esoteric work of art in two ways: first, its private nature, and second, its coded content. This essay by Jacquelynn Baas, a renowned curator, cultural historian, scholar and writer, contains groundbreaking research on Duchamp, Kashmir Shaivism, and Western Esotericism. Her aim is not to furnish a detailed key or step by step guide to Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Large Glass’, as others have attempted to do, but rather to provide a wider global context for interpreting ‘The Large Glass’ and assessing its cultural significance.
La mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même (figure 1), by the influential French/American artist Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), may be the most sophisticated and mysterious work of art created in the modern era. Duchamp began making studies for his masterwork, better known as The Large Glass, in 1912, first in Munich and then Paris. Three years later, in the United States, he began fabricating the piece, which consists of two large panes of glass “painted” with materials including lead wire, dust, and silver mirroring. He abandoned it, “unfinished,” in 1923. The Large Glass did not enter public view until 1926, when Duchamp showed it at the Brooklyn Museum as part of the International Exhibition of Modern Art organized by Katherine Dreier’s Société Anonyme, for which Duchamp served as Secretary. The Glass was shattered during return transport to Dreier’s Connecticut home. Duchamp laboriously repaired it ten years later, when he declared himself delighted with its pattern of cracks added by chance. It was not until 1954 that the work, which stands over nine feet tall, finally went on permanent public exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
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