London Paint Club

Thaddaeus Ropac – Please Touch: Marcel Duchamp and the Fetish

Ely House, 37 Dover St, London W1S 4NJ - (13 October - 13 November, 2021)
Marcel Duchamp, L.H.O.O.Q., September 1964. Graphite and gouache over colour offset lithograph on paper. 30.1 x 23 cm (11.85 x 9 in) © Association Marcel Duchamp / ADAGP, Paris, 2021.

The exhibition Please Touch: Marcel Duchamp and the Fetish, curated by Paul B. Franklin at Thaddaeus Ropac, London, is the first to explore the centrality of fetishism and the fetish in the artist’s practice. Although Duchamp himself acknowledged that eroticism was ‘Visible or conspicuous, or, at any rate, underlying […] the basis of everything I was doing’, the role of fetishism in his work has been largely overlooked by scholars and curators. In fact, fetishism served Duchamp as a potent guiding principle as he traced his singular path in twentieth-century art. This sensual, erotic dimension is indivisible from his radical questioning of the very nature of the artwork and the role of the artist, which prompted painter Willem de Kooning to call him a ‘one-man movement’ in 1951.

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