Add to Favorites
Painting: Oil on Canvas.
THE PAINTING SECTION FROM DAVIS MUSEUM
The Davis Lisboa Mini-Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona
Davis Lisboa, “Marcel Duchamp 17 (Das Schweigen von M. D. wird überbewertet)”, 2020, oil on canvas, 27,55 x 27,55 x 1,57 in (70 x 70 x 3,5 cm).
What inspired the work?
Conceptually, I was inspired by a photograph of Man Ray entitled "Marcel Duchamp on his deathbed". On October 1, 1968, Duchamp died of heart failure at age 81, in a silent and unexpected manner, as if by chance. He died in the company of bathroom accessories in his bath salts in the house of Neuilly-sur-Seine that he shared with his wife Teeny (Alexina Sattler), since 1954. After moving Marcel Duchamp to the bedroom with the help of the medical nephew, Teeny called Man Ray and asked him to come immediately. He did it with his elaborate camera team and Duchamp's latest photograph, "Marcel Duchamp on his deathbed" (1968), which was lost a long time ago. Soon Duchamp's body was moved to Rouen in Normandy and buried in the family cemetery grounds. Always imprudent, his tomb bears the epitaph, "D'ailleurs, c'est toujours les autres qui meurent" ("Besides, it's always the others who die"). The phrase comes from a piece of manuscript paper that Duchamp had worn for years in the inside pocket of his coat. The last day of Duchamp had been very pleasant: he visited the Vuibert bookstore on Boulevard Saint-Germain, published a letter to the editor Pierre Belfond, passed through the city and received the visit of old friend Georges Herbiet. Herbiet and Duchamp talked happily about many topics during the last meeting: chess, the peaceful death of Herbiet's wife and Duchamp's plans to travel to Chicago for a Dada exhibition. Teeny and Marcel organized a pheasant dinner for Man Ray, the writer and art critic Robert Lebel, together with their wives, which was full of insouciance and puns and morbid spoilers. Lebel, a close and long-time friend of Marcel's, contributed to Duchamp's often hermetic conceptual work being accessible to a wider audience with the publication in 1959 of "Sur Marcel Duchamp", the first monograph and reasoned catalog dedicated to the artist. In the mid-1950s, neo-Dada artists such as John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns had begun to defend Duchamp's legacy, but Duchamp's annoying devotion to Duchamp greatly expanded that circle: 1963 saw the first retrospective exhibition of Duchamp, in Pasadena Art Museum, and in 1966 the Tate Gallery hosted a large exhibition of his work. Man Ray collaborated with Duchamp in several photographic projects, such as "Rrose Sélavy" (Duchamp dressed as a woman). How, then, should we consider "Marcel Duchamp on his deathbed"? A photographic record or a work of art? I think the Man Ray’s photo is a document, and my painting is art. Why? Because my painting is not a document.
I also have been inspired by an action "Das Schweigen von Marcel Duchamp wird überbewertet" (Marcel Duchamp's silence is overrated) from 1964 by Joseph Beuys where he wore his renowned outfit – jeans, fisherman’s vest and felt hat – and used his 'Braunkreuz'-paint mixed with chocolate together with these brushes to write the words of the title on a placard. The action was broadcast live on German television. It was Beuys’ way to criticise Duchamp for his decision to withdraw from the art world and devote himself to chess. According to Beuys, in so doing, Duchamp ran away from the responsibility of engaging himself from the social and political responsibility of being an artist.
Psychologically, I was inspired by the experience of my father's funeral, in which I could not be in person. This caused me a silent and persistent pain for several years. Then, by chance, I discovered a psychological exercise that was trying to heal emotional wounds with deceased persons. the exercise consisted in writing a letter to this person and sending it by mail, even knowing that it would never reach its recipient. I decided to change the letter for an oil painting.
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.
Davis Lisboa | Pintor Artístico
Size: 27.6 W x 27.6 H x 1.6 in
Artist featured in a collection
Artist featured by Saatchi Art in a collection