Marcel Duchamp (also known as Rrose Sélavy) was a French artist (he became an American citizen in 1955) whose work and ideas had considerable influence on the development of post-World War I Western art, and whose advice to modern art collectors helped shape the tastes of the Western art world.
While he is most often associated with Dada and Surrealism, his participation in Surrealism was largely behind the scenes, and after being involved in New York Dada, he barely participated in Paris Dada.
Thousands of books and articles attempt to interpret Duchamp's artwork and philosophy, but in interviews and his writing, Duchamp only added to the mystery. The interpretations interested him as creations of their own, and as reflections of the interpreter.
A playful man, Duchamp prodded thought about artistic processes and art marketing, not so much with words, but with actions such as dubbing a urinal "art" and naming it Fountain. He produced relatively few artworks as he quickly moved through the avant-garde rhythms of his time.
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