cover of book

Playing with Earth and Sky: Astronomy, Geography, and the Art of Marcel Duchamp
by James Housefield
Dartmouth College Press, 2016
Cloth: 978-1-61168-956-3 | Paper: 978-1-61168-957-0 | eISBN: 978-1-61168-958-7
Library of Congress Classification N6853.D8H67 2016
Dewey Decimal Classification 709.2

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.
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