Miranda Toal, Taj Kooner, Jennifer Borgula

What is a readymade?

A readymade is an ordinary manufactured object that when modified by the artist, in some way, shape, or form, becomes art (repositioning, joining, tilting, and signing it).
Duchamp only made 20 readymades in his life because he wanted to preserve his outlook on his readymades and not fall into the trap of labeling them as “good” or “bad.” He said, “Art is a habit forming drug and I wanted to protect my “Readymades” against such a contradiction.”
Duchamp was never able to fully explain his opinions of his readymades: "The curious thing about the readymade is that I've never been able to arrive at a defintion or explanation that fully satisfies me."


Why Readymades?

Duchamp wanted to challenge people’s perceptions on what art can be or cannot be. By submitting his readymades to different art shows, Duchamp changed the art world significantly.


Types of Readymades

Readymades – un-altered objects
Assisted readymades
Rectified readymades
Reciprocal readymades

Un-Altered Readymades

Fountain, 1917 – A urinal that has been rotated and signed with “R. Mutt” on its upper side. When entered into art shows, it was often hidden but now it is one of the most influential pieces of its time.
Others include: In advance of the broken arm (1915), Bottle Rack (1914), Comb (1916).


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(Fountain)

Assisted Readymades

An assisted readymade is two or more readymades put together. When put together, the objects are not functional. There’s a greater meaning or purpose than before.
Bicycle Wheel, 1913– A bicycle wheel is mounted on a painted wooden stool. It was Duchamp’s first moving readymade.
Why Not Sneeze, Rose Sèlavy? 1921– Marble cubes are in the shape of sugar lumps with a thermometer and cuttle bones in a small bird cage.
Others include: With Hidden Noise (1916), Unhappy readymade (1919), Belle Haleine, Eau de Violette (1921).

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(Bicycle Wheel)

Rectified Readymades

A rectified readymade is already a work of art that has been altered from its original. The motive behind of these is to go beyond the original readymades and to continue testing the limits of what is considered art.
L.H.O.O.Q. (1919) – A reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa where he drew a goatee and a mustache.
Others include: Pharmacy (1914), Wanted, $2,000 Reward (1923)

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(L.H.O.O.Q.)

Reciprocal Readymades

Reciprocal readymades were made to blend art and life together. They are not necessarily tangible items but they can be notes or written ideas. These readymades only come in the form of ideas.
Green Box (1934) – This readymade explains one of his earlier works, Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelor’s, Even and gives details about his thoughts behind his work on this piece.
Others include: Use Rembrandt as an Ironing Board, Woolworth Building (1910-1920).

external image 272px-duchamp_greenbox.jpg
(Green Box)

Thoughts on Readymades

There were many differing opinions of Duchamp's readymades. Some people believed these works of art could not be classified as art at all because they were a joke and not actually made by him. Since he took items that were already manufactured or created, it was said that Duchamp was not putting any effort into his art and that there was no meaning.
Duchamp set out to make people think about what art is and his readymades definitely challenged people's thinking.
In Duchamp's defense, he could argue, “Since the tubes of paint used by an artist are manufactured and readymade products we must conclude that all the paintings in the world are “Readymades aided” and also works of assemblage.”






Works Cited
"British Journal of Aesthetics." DUCHAMP'S READYMADES: ART AND ANTI-ART. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. <http://bjaesthetics.oxfordjournals.org/content/22/1/52.extract>.
"Making Sense of Marcel Duchamp." Making Sense of Marcel Duchamp. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2012. <http://understandingduchamp.com/>.
"Marcel Duchamp - Biography." Marcel Duchamp. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. <http://www.egs.edu/library/marcel-duchamp/biography/>.
"Marcel Duchamp Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2012. <http://www.biography.com/people/marcel-duchamp-9280070>.
"Marcel Duchamp." Marcel Duchamp. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. <http://radicalart.info/things/readymade/duchamp/text.html>.
"PaperStreet Supplies." Marcel Duchamp: Fountain. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. <http://paperstreetsupplies.com/art-and-artists/marcel-duchamp-fountain/>.
"Readymades of Marcel Duchamp." N.p., n.d. Web. <http://saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Readymades-of-Marcel-Duchamp.pdf>.
"Readymades-Duchamp - Home." Readymades-Duchamp - Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2012. <http://readymades-duchamp.wikispaces.com/>.