Voltaire's Coffee: Professor Linda Henderson, Art History

Marcel Duchamp's Large Glass: The Art-Science Connection

Tue, March 23, 2010

7:00 PM - 8:15 PM

Duchamp, Large Glass
Duchamp, Large Glass

Between 1915 and 1923 Marcel Duchamp, one of the most important artists of the 20th century, created his project known as The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even or The Large Glass.  The work consisted of both the nine-foot tall work on glass (Philadelphia Museum) as well as the hundreds of preparatory notes he had made between 1912 and 1915.  Duchamp's goal was to redefine the artist and art making itself, —away from what he saw as the mindless touch of his contemporaries—and he found vital inspiration in contemporary science and technology.  What was the science Duchamp was responding to and how was it manifested in the Large Glass, his techno-scientific allegory of quest?    This conversation will also touch on Duchamp's invention of his "Readymades," objects he selected and titled but did not craft with his own hands.

About the Professor: 

Linda Dalrymple Henderson is the David Bruton, Jr. Centennial Professor in Art History and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin.  Her teaching and research center on 20th Century European and American art in cultural context and, specifically, in relation to geometry, science and technology, and mystical/occult philosophies.  In addition to many articles, she is the author of The Fourth Dimension and Non-Euclidean Geometry in Modern Art (Princeton University Press, 1983; new, enlarged edition, MIT Press, 2010) and Duchamp in Context: Science and Technology in the Large Glass and Related Works (Princeton, 1998).  With literature scholar Bruce Clarke she co-organized the symposium and co-edited the anthology From Energy to Information: Representation in Science and Technology, Art, and Literature (Stanford University Press, 2002).  In addition to preparing the new 450-page “Reintroduction” for the MIT Press reprint edition of her Fourth Dimension book, she was the guest curator of Reimagining Space: The Park Place Gallery Group in 1960s New York (Blanton Museum of Art, Sept. 28, 2008- Jan. 18, 2009).

Sponsored by: The Plan II Honors Program

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