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Arts: "Le Grand Verre" by Duchamp, an unusual "bride"

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Marcel Duchamp, in 1965, in front of his "Le Grand Verre" work. Mark Kauffman / The LIFE Images Collection

In the pantheon unfathomable art objects, The Great Glass by Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) occupies a special place. A long-distance creation made for the most part in New York from 1915 to 1923 and "Definitely unfinished" this year according to its author, although it was brought to intervene there later, she gave birth to a plethora of ex erts. Among them, the artist himself, who we can assume that despite the artfully scruffy production of notes around her â € "contained especially in The Green Box (1934) â € "he wanted his work to have its own autonomy of meaning.

Husband Exposed by Her Celebrities, Even (full title of Large glass) a place where Duchamp had wanted it: in the center of Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) museum halls, which, since 1954, have presented the collection of Louise and Walter Arensberg, the largest in the world at to be consecrated to him. Mothers, landlords and friends, the couple offered unparalleled visibility to the most American of French artists (born in Blainville-Crevon, in Seine-Maritime). Since then, four replicas of the work have been done by others.

 € œThree air pistonsâ €  »

For the historians of the art, The Great Glass, vertical cousin of his posthumous installation Given, is his master piece. It illustrates Duchamp's desire to regulate the terms of the artistic contract: the primacy of its aesthetic character, Â "Â Result © Justinian" that he abhorred, gives way to the ideas, to the bushy thoughts that preside over the conception of the work.

The spectator has the beautiful role ("These are the viewers who make the table"(he said) who finalizes as he pleases the outlines of the meaning or meanings that he grants him. This approach, fashioned with its famous ready-mades, will make this champion of "Leave, let it go" a dominant figure in the art of XXe century, master stall of conceptual creations appeared in the 1960s.

The list of components is heterogeneous: glass, oil, sheet and lead wire, dust, foil, tin, wood and steel

The Large glass is a singular, enigmatic object of art. Composed of two transparent glass plates and superimposed, it is of imposing size (2.77 m high and 1.77 m wide), the whole being inscribed in a frame in metal. According to the former director of the Philadelphia Museum, Anne d'Harnoncourt, the work was designed from "Random procedures, studies of carefully crafted perspectives and hard labor."