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Distributed for Dartmouth College Press

Playing with Earth and Sky

Astronomy, Geography, and the Art of Marcel Duchamp

Distributed for Dartmouth College Press

Playing with Earth and Sky

Astronomy, Geography, and the Art of Marcel Duchamp

Playing with Earth and Sky reveals the significance astronomy, geography, and aviation had for Marcel Duchamp—widely regarded as the most influential artist of the past fifty years. Duchamp transformed modern art by abandoning unique art objects in favor of experiences that could be both embodied and cerebral. This illuminating study offers new interpretations of Duchamp’s momentous works, from readymades to the early performance art of shaving a comet in his hair. It demonstrates how the immersive spaces and narrative environments of popular science, from museums to the modern planetarium, prepared paths for Duchamp’s nonretinal art. By situating Duchamp’s career within the transatlantic cultural contexts of Dadaism and Surrealism, this book enriches contemporary debates about the historical relationship between art and science. This truly original study will appeal to a broad readership in art history and cultural studies.

312 pages | 6 x 9

Art: Art--General Studies


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Table of Contents

List of Color Plates • Acknowledgments • Note to the Reader • Introduction: Playing with Earth and Sky • Spaces of Experience: Geography, Astronomy, and Display • Landscapes of Chance: Cosmic Metaphors and Literary Stars • Aviation and Substitution: Celestial and Terrestrial Geographies of the Readymades • From Marcel to Rrose: Starry Messengers and Astral Identities • Interstellar Voyages and Surrealist Geographies: The Paris World’s Fair, Palais de la découverte, and Exposition internationale du surréalisme • Conclusion: Landscape Defied, the Heavens Denied • Notes • Bibliography • Index

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