Bicycle Wheel - Marcel Duchamp, 1913 (1964 replica pictured)

From the National Gallery of Australia

The original¬†Bicycle wheel¬†was made in Paris in 1913. It was Duchamp’s first Ready-made. In an interview with Pierre Cabanne, however, Duchamp noted that ‘the word readymade did not appear until 1915, when I went to the United States. It was an interesting word, but when I put a bicycle wheel on a stool, the fork down, there was no idea of a “readymade” or anything else. It was just a distraction. I didn’t have any special reason to do it, or any intention of showing it, or describing anything’.

Duchamp later claimed that the reason for its fabrication was very simple:

To see the wheel turning was very soothing, very comforting, a sort of opening of avenues on other things than material life of every day. I liked the idea of having a bicycle wheel in my studio. I enjoyed looking at it just as I enjoy looking at the flames dancing in a fireplace. It was like having a fireplace in my studio, the movement of the wheel reminded me of the movement of the flames.

 

Posted on November 16 2011, with 137 Notes

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    Marcel Duchamp - Bicycle Wheel, 1913 (1964 replica pictured).
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    Bicycle Wheel - Marcel Duchamp, 1913 (1964 replica pictured). From the National Gallery of Australia
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    Bicycle Wheel - Marcel Duchamp, 1913
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    Just imagine: in 2 years, this thing will be 100 years old.
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