Duchamp & Picasso: He Was Wrong
Edited by Daniel Birnbaum, Annika Gunnarsson. Text by Daniel Birnbaum, Ronald Jones.
By many art history accounts, the art of the twentieth century was decided by Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp. In these versions, Picasso stands for prolific production, a fierce expressionism, endless research of the picture plane and a sense of voracious creativity; whereas Duchamp stands for cerebral brilliance, rejection of optical pleasure and a subtle but all-pervasive conceptual sabotage and irony. (Of course, they shared as many traits, including an appetite for provocation and the recognition of eros as a fundamental, animating life principle.) So who was right? This volume, published for a show at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, argues for both sides of the coin, looking at various aspects of both oeuvres, including Picasso’s fascination with the Minotaur and Duchamp’s Rrose Selavy alter ego. The book is appropriately divided in two halves separated by a reverse binding.