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Painting: Oil on Canvas.
THE PAINTING SECTION FROM DAVIS MUSEUM
The Davis Lisboa Mini-Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona
Davis Lisboa, “Boîte-en-valise 11”, 2019, oil on canvas, 19,68 x 19,68 x 1,57 in (50 x 50 x 3,5 cm).
What/who inspired the work?
I was inspired by "La Boîte-en-valise" by Marcel Duchamp (1942).
The ultimate example of the artist's multiple might well be Marcel Duchamp's "Boîte-en-valise". Duchamp famously transformed everyday objects; a urinal, bottle dryer, and many other quotidian objects by simply placing them in galleries thereby challenging the very definition of art. These objects, known as "ready-mades", became the signature works of his career. Versions of these items found their way into various edition of the "Boîte-en-valise".
In an attempt to save his work from destruction during World War II, as well as supplying friends and followers with collectable objects, Duchamp created his box in a valise that has inspired countless artists to this day. In 1942 before leaving Europe and the war behind him, Duchamp commissioned various European artisans to reproduce in miniature sixty-nine of his best known works and shipped the miniatures to America so they would be waiting for him to assemble once he arrived. The re-fabrications of his works took five years to complete while the various editions of the "Boîte-en-valise themselves would take him over three decades.
The seven editions of the "Boîte-en-valise" contain reproductions that span his works from 1910 to 1954. Duchamp included representative works in every medium, from his "readymades" to his paintings, sculptures, and drawings. These pieces include some of his best known works of art such as the "Fountain", "L.H.O.O.Q." and "Nude Descending Staircase, No. 2", the "Rotoreliefs", "Bottle Rack", "50cc Paris Air", "Why Not Sneeze", "Chocolate Grinder", and "The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass)", some of which were multiples to begin with. To produce the multiples, Duchamp hired hard-ware supply companies, commercial painters, and other artisans to fabricate the constituent elements. Once the replicas were made, Man Ray, Joseph Cornell, and other friends helped with the fabrication of the completed boxes. (1)
Each of the seven editions was given a corresponding letter, the 1968 edition in "Mass Production" is edition G. This edition is distinguished by the change of color from red to green leather and lining and contains 80 items.
The first "Boîte-en-valise" went to Duchamp's brother, and the first edition was intended for friends and close contacts in the art world. Each time he put one of the boxes together, he would try to include a different unique object from his collection, typically by request from the person buying it. Later editions were to be sold through Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century Gallery for $200 each, and again, he tried to include a different unique object within each
example as well as changing the color of the box. (2) Much like his "Rotoreliefs", there have been numerous editions issued since the "Boîte's" debut in 1942.
First exhibited at Art of This Century Gallery, the work was displayed in a unique manner. The viewer would look through a peephole in the wall to see the "Boîte-en-valise". Through the peephole the items of the "Boîte-en-valise" were setup in a way the viewer would have to turn a wheel to have the items resolve so each item could be seen individually. (3) The "Boîte-en-valise" at Art of This Century Gallery was the first time Duchamp used a peephole presentation. During the time of making the "Boîte-en-valise", Duchamp swore off making art for the rest of his life. He spent his days playing chess. It wasn't until after his death in 1968 that it became apparent he had been working all those years on the "Étant Donées". In its unusual form of presentation, this piece relates to the Art of This Century display of the "Boîte-en-valise" in that viewers must stand in front of a large door to look through holes in the door to see the work on the other side.
An attempt to conserve his work, and supply art for the masses, Duchamp's "Boîte-en-valise" became a model for the future artist's work. The "Flux Boxes", "Seven Objects in a Box", and Murakami's "Superflat Museum" are a few of many later multiples that have been inspired by "Boîte-en-valise".
Written by Frances Nicholson & Alex Draven
1. Calvin Tomkins, "The World of Marcel Duchamp" (New York: Time Incorporated, 1966), 156.
2. Ecke Bonk, "The Box in a Valise" (New York, Rizzoli International, 1989), 155.
3. William A. Camfield, "Marcel Duchamp Fountain" (Houston: Fine Art Press, 1989), 74.
Formally, I was inspired by the German painter Gerhard Richter, who began in 1960's to create his iconic photographic paintings. From a collection of photographs that he added throughout his life - from press clippings to family photos - Richter projected and drew the images on a canvas. In the process of recreating the photos, he erased the images, leaving the subjects unidentifiable.
What do you hope its viewers will think?
I hope that viewers understand that there is a narrative within the history of art that deals with the artists who created their own museums. This narrative is constructed through Marcel Duchamp (Boîte-en-valise, 1936-1941), Robert Filliou (La galerie légitime, 1962-1963) and Marcel Broodthaers (Musée d'Art Moderne, Département des Aigles, 1968-1972) . Following this narrative, I decided to create the Davis Museum, The Davis Lisboa Mini-Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona (2009-ongoing), which is, simultaneously, a readymade sculpture, a non-profit collective art project, and at the same time, a cultural entity recognized by the Generalitat de Catalunya (an Autonomous Community in Spain).
Created symbolically in an electoral ballot box and disseminated mainly through Facebook, the Davis Museum is also the smallest contemporary art museum in the world.
This cultural entity has several sections and one of them is "The Paintings Section From Davis Museum". It is divided into portraits and still lifes. The portraits represent Marcel Duchamp, Robert Filliou and Marcel Broodthaers; while still lifes represent the "Boîte-en-valise" (Box in a suitcase), the "Galerie légitime" (Legitimate gallery) and the "Musée d'Art Moderne, Département des Aigles" (Museum of Modern Art, Department of Eagles).
Why did you choose the medium, the frame format and the color?
I chose oil on canvas because I am interested in painting not only because of its versatility as a medium but also because of its rich historical repository of images and ideas. Only the best materials have been used for this work: linen canvas, oil paintings by Old Holland and medium by Blockx. As the Davis Museum is a cube, I chose the frame of the paintings to be square. I chose the gray color for the paintings from 2011 to 2016. Then, the blue color for the paintings from 2016 to 2018. And I chose the combination of blue and yellow colors for the paintings from 2019 to the next.
“The Paintings Section” is the only section from Davis Museum where works of art are on sale. Support The Davis Museum art project by buying now this painting on Saatchi Art.
THE PAINTINGS FROM DAVIS MUSEUM IN PRIVATE COLLECTIONS
The Alejandro Vásquez Herrero Collection, Viladecans, Spain.
The Daniel Marcoux Collection, Montreal, Canada. The Francesc Torres Collection, Barcelona, Spain.
The Geert De Kegel Collection, Zele, Belgium.
The Soteris Argyrou Collection, Nicosia, Cyprus.
The Yellowstone Club Collection, Big Sky, Montana, USA.
Artist featured by Saatchi Art in a collection