100 years ago today, Marcel Duchamp used the word “readymade” in writing for the first time, in a letter to his sister. To celebrate this art historical milestone, we’ve installed several Readymades in the Museum’s fifth-floor galleries. We’ll be broadcasting live from the galleries at 5 pm via Periscope. Follow us on Twitter at @museummodernart to get the link to the broadcast. 

[Marcel Duchamp. Bicycle Wheel. New York, 1951 (third version, after lost original of 1913). The Museum of Modern Art, New York.  © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris/Estate of Marcel Duchamp]

Chad Wys, Delft Punk, paint on found ceramic, 2013, 14” x 7.5” (diameter)

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Exhibition, group show, Almost Human at the Converge Gallery in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, November 21 until January 31, 2015


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The fact of choosing, of selecting, and deciding on one, was the result of being very careful about not using my sense of beauty or my belief in some aesthetics of some kind. In other words, finding some object of complete indifference, as far as aesthetics are concerned. And that indifference is very difficult, because there is always some detail in any object that will attract you, aesthetically. Meaning that you will find it beautiful, or even ugly. —Marcel Duchamp, talking to Martin Friedman, Walker Art Center director (1961-1990), about the readymade. 

Today we celebrated the centennial of Marcel Duchamp’s first recorded use of the word “readymade.” Learn more about what “readymades” are and how they changed the course of art history.

[Cake depicting Marcel Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel (1951). Photograph: Gretchen Scott]

ON VIEW at SculptureCenter:


Through May 12, 2014

Tropical Readymade (Backpack), SculptureCenter, 2014. Backpack, soil, rocks, plants. Dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and SculptureCenter.