The Fountain at 100

fountain
Marcel Duchamp (French, active in the United States 1887-1968). Fountain, 1964 edition (original 1917). Painted ceramic. Partial gift of Mrs. William H. Conroy. Eskenazi Museum of Art 71.37.7

One of the jewels of the Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University’s collection is a complete set of the 1964 edition of Marcel Duchamp’s Readymades. Duchamp was a French artist who was associated with the Dada movement, which sought to redefine traditional artistic practices. During World War I, Duchamp moved to New York City, where he became a central figure in that city’s artistic community. Duchamp’s major contribution to Dada—and to modern art more generally—were the Readymades, mass-produced objects that he presented as works of art. Duchamp undermined the original functionality of the objects through slight alterations or by installing them in an unusual way. By emphasizing an intellectual approach to art over craftmanship or stylistic expressivity, Duchamp posed a serious challenge to long-accepted definitions of art. His radical thinking of artistic practice inspired the development of conceptual art and the use of nontraditional materials within the realm of fine art.

The year 2017 marks the centennial of Fountain, the most famous—and notorious—Readymade. One hundred years ago, in April 1917, the Society of Independent Artists in New York refused to display Fountain—a urinal turned on its back and signed “R. Mutt”—in its annual exhibition. Because Fountain and many other original Readymades were lost not long after their creation, Duchamp and the Milan gallerist Arturo Schwartz decided to produce a replica edition of these works in 1964. The reproduction of the Readymades acknowledged their significance to the development of modern art. The Eskenazi Museum of Art is one of only three museums worldwide that holds all thirteen Readymades reproduced in the 1964 edition. The installation Fountain at 100 celebrates the Readymades, with special emphasis on Fountain, on view in the museum’s first floor Gallery of Art of the Western World from January 24 through May 7, 2017. Works by artists inspired by Duchamp—Man Ray, Joseph Cornell, and Lucas Samaras—will also be on view. We hope you take this opportunity to visit and see Duchamp’s Readymades in person for yourself.

The Eskenazi Museum of Art will also be hosting a free Noon Talk on February 15, 2017 from 12:15-1:00 p.m. entitled “Out of the Box: The Legacy of the Readymade,” presented in conjunction with Fountain at 100. Andrew Wang, graduate assistant for European and American art, will discuss the influence of Marcel Duchamp’s Readymades on Jospeh Cornell, Louise Nevelson, and Lucas Samaras. This Noon Talk will take place in the Gallery of the Art of the Western World, first floor, and is free and open to the public. No prior reservation is necessary to attend.

Please visit the Eskenazi Museum of Art’s Website for gallery hours and more information on visiting the museum. Admission at the Eskenazi Museum of Art is always FREE. 

 

First Thursdays This Fall at the Eskenazi Museum of Art

First Thursdays Image

Expanding on the Eskenazi Museum of Art’s popular Coffeehouse Nights program, on Thursday, September 1, the museum will launch a monthly night of extended evening hours and entertainment. On the first Thursday of every month during the university school year, the museum will be open extended hours from 5 to 8 p.m. Programming will vary, with a variety of unique offerings, including art-making activities, gallery tours, live musical performances, and more. Activities will be tailored for both people brand new to the museum and dedicated art lovers looking for an immersive experience. Food and libations will be available for purchase.

September 1, at 5:15 p.m., art fans will delight in a progressive tour led by the five curators of Spotlights, the museum’s current special exhibition. World music will be featured in the museum atrium starting at 6 p.m. You will also be able to view Rainworks, a rain-activated artwork newly installed near the museum’s iconic Light Totem, by the front entrance of the museum. The galleries will be open to explore and there will be additional opportunities to try new art interactions throughout the evening. It will be a night for casual art fans and people new to the museum, as well as dedicated fans of fine art and museum-going. Details about programming for First Thursdays later this year will be forthcoming. Check in at the museum’s website for updates and the most current information.

Rainwork Image3Example of a Rainwork. Image courtesy of Rainworks.

The Eskenazi Museum of Art’s First Thursdays will coincide with a larger university program that will take place on the Arts Circle around Showalter Fountain, just north of the museum, when weather permits. These events are designed to highlight the amazing offerings in the arts and humanities available at Indiana University and include campus arts organizations such as the IU Auditorium, Grunwald Gallery, IU Cinema, Jacobs School of Music, Lilly Library, Mathers Museum, IU Theatre, and more. More information about First Thursdays at Indiana University is available through the new Arts & Humanities Council website.

If you have an idea for First Thursdays, send us your thoughts at iuam@indiana.edu. First Thursdays at the Eskenazi Museum of Art is made possible in part by the generous support of Gregg and Judy Summerville.

IU Art Museum gallery interior

Eskenazi Museum of Art Website