Download Alchemist of the Avant-Garde: The Case of Marcel Duchamp by John F. Moffitt PDF

By John F. Moffitt

A desirable ebook demonstrating the impression of alchemy and esoteric traditions at the mature paintings of Marcel Duchamp.

Acknowledged because the "Artist of the Century," Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) left a legacy that dominates the artwork global to this present day. Inventing the paradoxically dégagé perspective of "ready-made" art-making, Duchamp heralded the postmodern period and changed Pablo Picasso because the function version for avant-garde artists. John F. Moffitt demanding situations generally accredited interpretations of Duchamp's paintings and personality by way of displaying that his mature artwork, after 1910, is essentially drawn from the effect of the occult traditions. Moffitt demonstrates that the main to knowing the cryptic that means of Duchamp's different artistic endeavors and writings is alchemy, the main pictorial of the entire occult philosophies and sciences.

This cutting edge artwork background is written in a full of life, specific sort. very similar to a prosecuting lawyer's short, Alchemist of the Avant-Garde argues its case with documented old facts, now not theoretical versions. a desirable learn, Moffitt's paintings can be welcomed by way of artists, paintings fans, and all these drawn to the cultural heritage of the trendy and postmodern eras.

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

"The entire e-book is unforeseen to people who have by no means thought of Duchamp as an alchemist, starting from the professors who contain him of their paintings heritage surveys to the authors of even fatter books approximately him. Moffitt's a prolific and extremely greatly cultured writer, with unique 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 is familiar with the esoteric box in addition to he does." — Joscelyn Godwin, writer of Theosophical Enlightenment

John F. Moffitt is Professor Emeritus of artwork historical past at New Mexico country college. he's the writer of Spanish portray; Occultism in Avant-Garde artwork: The Case of Joseph Beuys; Velázquez, práctica e thought: Estudios dispersos; paintings Forgery: The Case of the girl of Elche; the humanities in Spain; and Picturing Extraterrestrials: Alien Imagery in glossy Mass tradition. he's coauthor (with Santiago Sebastián) of O courageous New humans: the ecu Invention of the yank 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 fashionable 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 manhattan with Esoteric consumers and the massive Glass, 1915–1923
6. Alchemical Emblematics and the Ready-Mades, 1913–1923
7. The Esoteric Fourth size and legislation of probability, 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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27 Balakian stresses that the Swedish seer, a clairvoyant (Hellseher in German), was the synthesizer of many earlier forms of the philosophia perennis. As she recognizes, It was not the originality of Swedenborg’s theories that made it such an attractive cult but rather Swedenborg’s ability to sum up and popularize so many parallel mystical notions that were inherent in the cabbalistic and hermetic cults. . Not a single new truth was discovered by Swedenborg: his precepts had all been conceived earlier; his philosophy was a synthesis of all the occult philosophies of the past.

Since men and women are created by sexual means, then it logically follows that the sex act—the microcosmic image of Creation— is both a divine sign and a gift from On High (au delà in the terminology of modern French esotericism). As an attribute of the Divine, neatly dividing itself into Male and Female components, conjoined Sex/Creation represents Harmony and Perfection. In the sex act, a coniunctio oppositorum, the male supposedly achieves his own inherently female nature and thus becomes symbolically androgynous, transmuted into one flesh, and thus made whole.

He was also not the first to pursue nonobjective imagery: one historical precedent was set by pioneering, now mostly forgotten, automatic paintings created by Victorianera spiritualists (discussed in chapter 4). According to recent scholarship,5 the critical shift in the appearance of the plastic arts, beginning around 1875, was signalled by a decisive movement from naturalism to abstraction. This crucial shift was as much a matter of intrinsic content as it was of extrinsic form. After 1875 artistic content more often than not paralleled the verbal content of treatises belonging to the Esoteric Tradition.

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