Alchemist of the Avant-Garde: The Case of Marcel Duchamp by John F. Moffitt

Alchemist of the Avant-Garde: The Case of Marcel Duchamp by John F. Moffitt

By John F. Moffitt

A desirable publication demonstrating the effect of alchemy and esoteric traditions at the mature paintings of Marcel Duchamp.

Acknowledged because the "Artist of the Century," Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) left a legacy that dominates the artwork global to today. Inventing the satirically dégagé perspective of "ready-made" art-making, Duchamp heralded the postmodern period and changed Pablo Picasso because the position version for avant-garde artists. John F. Moffitt demanding situations normally authorised interpretations of Duchamp's paintings and character by way of exhibiting that his mature artwork, after 1910, is basically drawn from the impact of the occult traditions. Moffitt demonstrates that the foremost to figuring out the cryptic which means of Duchamp's different artistic endeavors and writings is alchemy, the main pictorial of the entire occult philosophies and sciences.

This cutting edge artwork heritage is written in a full of life, special type. very similar to a prosecuting lawyer's short, Alchemist of the Avant-Garde argues its case with documented old facts, now not theoretical types. a desirable learn, Moffitt's paintings might be welcomed through artists, artwork fanatics, and all these drawn to the cultural heritage of the fashionable and postmodern eras.

“…this broad and profound study is very informative, thought-provoking and horizon-broadening.” — AMBIX, magazine of the Society for the historical past of Alchemy and Chemistry

"The entire e-book is unforeseen to those that have by no means thought of Duchamp as an alchemist, starting from the professors who comprise him of their artwork background surveys to the authors of even fatter books approximately him. Moffitt's a prolific and extremely commonly cultured writer, with precise services within the Renaissance and within the topic of forgery in addition to in these such a lot enigmatic of recent artists, Joseph Beuys and Marcel Duchamp. i can't identify the other artwork historian who is aware the esoteric box in addition to he does." — Joscelyn Godwin, writer of Theosophical Enlightenment

John F. Moffitt is Professor Emeritus of paintings background at New Mexico nation college. he's the writer of Spanish portray; Occultism in Avant-Garde paintings: The Case of Joseph Beuys; Velázquez, práctica e concept: Estudios dispersos; paintings Forgery: The Case of the woman of Elche; the humanities in Spain; and Picturing Extraterrestrials: Alien Imagery in sleek Mass tradition. he's coauthor (with Santiago Sebastián) of O courageous New humans: the ecu Invention of the yank Indian.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Prosecuting the Duchamp Case
1. An Esoteric French formative years for Duchamp: Symbolist tradition and Occultism
2. the discovery of the fashionable Alchemist-Artist
3. The Cultural Shaping of an Artist-Iconoclast: Duchamp in France, 1887–1915
4. Duchamp's First Experiments in Esoteric and Alchemical paintings, 1910–1912

5. Duchamp in long island with Esoteric consumers and the big Glass, 1915–1923
6. Alchemical Emblematics and the Ready-Mades, 1913–1923
7. The Esoteric Fourth size and legislation of likelihood, 1895–1923
8. The Circle Closes, 1923–1968
Epilogue: The Prosecution Rests
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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As defined by Whitehead, who was not addressing any particularly modern notion of art, “to be abstract 20 ALCHEMIST OF THE AVANT-GARDE is to transcend particular concrete occasions of actual happenings [involving] consideration of the nature of things antecedently to any special investigation into their details. ’ ” Indeed! Overall, Whitehead concludes that “the old phraseology is at variance with the psychology of modern civilizations. ”23 In the voluminous critical and esthetic debate that surrounded Symbolist innovations it was always the traditional vocabulary of the Esoteric Tradition that best served to define the new aspirations.

It is this: Lévi helped to change the popular concept of magic. Whereas magic had hitherto been regarded by most people as a means of manipulating the forces of nature and by many as a dangerous superstition, Lévi presented it as a way of drawing the will through certain channels and turning the magician into a more fully realized human being. . 60 So doing, Lévi rendered an important but wholly ignored contribution to art history. Modern Occultism, a popular concept of magic, was amalgamated into Symbolist thinking, particularly that which refers to the visual arts.

Trained in the scientific methodology of his time, Swedenborg accordingly sought scientific proof of life after death. This proof was found in the Imagination, in the inner consciousness of spiritual sensations, which he treated as being distinct from sensual perceptions. Thus, for Swedenborgians, every natural, physical vision had its penumbra of spiritual recognition; as Swedenborg put it, a dead person “is simply separated from the physical component . . ”29 AN ESOTERIC FRENCH ADOLESCENCE FOR DUCHAMP 25 The recognition of ongoing life beyond (au delà) was to be achieved through the enlightened perception of symbols.

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