French artist Marcel Duchamp painted “Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2” in 1912, and dove headfirst into uncharted artistic waters. Inspired by stop-motion photography, Duchamp (1887 – 1968) invented a style of facet Cubism-Futurism that depicted continuous action with overlapping figures. This painting scandalized Paris’ Salon des Indépendants, where Duchamp was ordered to remove it from exhibition. At New York’s Armory, it provoked such an uproar, Duchamp became an overnight success. The piece is now on display at Philadelphia’s Museum of Art.
French artist Marcel Duchamp (1887 – 1968) created complex, mystifying works that were a gateway to conceptual art. Initially dabbling in Impressionism, Duchamp adopted a groundbreaking form of facet Cubist-Futurism inspired by time-lapse photography. His famous “Nude Descending a Staircase,” which reflects this style, scandalized exhibitions in Paris and New York, rocketing Duchamp to overnight success. He also created ready-mades—ordinary objects he transformed into art by signing and titling them. A cult figure among avant-garde artists, Duchamp strongly influenced Surrealism, Dada and Pop Art.