the large glass

  • Twice in his life Duchamp concentrated his energies on a 'major' work: La Mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même [=The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (the Large Glass)] of 1912 to 1923 and Étant donnés: 1. La chute d'eau 2. Le gaz d'éclairage [=Given: 1. The Waterfal1 2. The Illuminating Gas] of 1946 to 1966. They were 'major' works in the sense that they were executed on a grand scale and they summed up and gave a focus to ideas developed over long periods. These works are not, however, 'major' in the conventional sense of aiming to be a public statement, an aesthetic manifesto. Indeed, the Large Glass was conceived more or less simultaneously with his rejection of a conventional artistic career and embodies this rejection as much as the readymades, though in a more paradoxical way, while Etant donnés was produced in total secrecy, its existence revealed only after his death in 1968.
  • What exactly is The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even?
    There is the construction of that title: two glass panels set one above the other, over nine feet (2.75 metres) tall, and freestanding. Impressive in scale, it is at first sight baffling in iconograhy and unclassifiable style. Yet this glass construction is not a discrete whole. The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even is also the title given to The Green Box notes (1934). Duchamp intended the Large Glass to be accompanied by a book, in order to prevent purely visual responses to it.
  • The painting The Bride (1912), who already possessed a partially mechanized form, is now situated in an aerial environment in the upper half of the Large Glass. A thread-like shape trails up from her 'body' towards the top of the glass, where it is hooked to the top 'bar'. The long 'feeler' stretching downwards does not touch the dividing barrier between her domain and that of the Bachelors. She is described as Pendu femelle (the 'Hanged Man' of the Tarot cards rendered female). Another component was sketched but not finally realized: a suspended filament of a gas lamp, to be linked to the Sex Cylinder (Wasp). Part of this moved in air currents, which connects it with the Pistons de courant d'air [=Draught Pistons]. These Draught Pistons were generated by chance; in the final work, they are the 'empty' distorted squares enclosed in what Duchamp described as a "kind of milky way flesh colour", which emanates like plasma from the Bride.
  • The final element executed in the Bride's Domain are the Nine Shots: nine match sticks dipped in paint were fired from a toy cannon, three at each of three 'targets', though only one succeeds in reaching a target (the edge of the Milky Way). The 'one-dimensional' target, 'the vanishing point (in perspective)', was thus, in Duchamp's term, 'de multiplied'. At the spots marked by chance by the paint, holes were neatly drilled through the glass.
  • The lower panel of the Large Glass contains the Bachelor Apparatus, to which the majority of the notes and sketches from 1912 to 1915 are devoted. This is a visibly mechanical world, and one that seems contained by circular movement and frustration. Not only does this male section of the de multiplied Large Glass multiply in terms of figures, but it is also the subject of intensive exploration of mechanical power and motion.
  • There are several motifs in the Bachelors' Domain as it was finally realized: the Broyeuse de chocolat [=Chocolate Grinder, No. 2, Duchamp's last oil painting on canvas (with the exception of Tu m' of 1918)] acquired more attributes and accoutrements: necktie, scissors, bayonet; the Glissière contenant un moulin à eau en métaux voisins [=Glider containing a Water Mill]; the Neuf Moules Mâlic [=Nine Malic Moulds] forming the Cimetière des uniformes et livrées [=Cemetery of Uniforms and Liveries], the Tamis [=Sieves]; and finally the Témoins oculistes [=Oculist Witnesses]. A number of other motifs and ideas feature only in the notes.
  • The Cemetery of Uniforms and Liveries, later known as the Nine Malic Moulds, originally consisted of eight figures, whose shapes seemed to derive from various sketches combining dressmaker's models and decorative glass lanterns. These two sources connect the themes of gravity and weight in the lower part of the Large Glass: while the lanterns hang downwards, the busts are erected upwards from a ground support. They were named after uniformed characters: priest; department store delivery boy; gendarme; cuirassier; policeman; undertaker; flunky; busboy; the ninth, the stationmaster, was added later.
    Dawn Ades, Neil Cox, and David Hopkins (eds.), Marcel Duchamp. World of art (New York 1999) 84 ff.
    Duchamp's the Large Glass has here been photographed in Katherine Dreier's living room.
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  • See Marcel Duchamp Notes and Journals.
  • Marcel Duchamp
    'The Bride Stripped Bare by Het Bachelors, Even', in This Quarter 5, no. 1 (Paris 1932) 189-192. Preface by André Breton. Special Surrealist number, reprinted by Arno Press (New York 1969).
  • Marcel Duchamp
    'La Mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même', in Le Surréalisme au service de la révolution no. 5 (Paris May 1933) 1-2.
  • Craig Adcock
    Marcel Duchamp's notes from the Large Glass. An n-dimensional analysis. Studies in the fine arts. The avant-garde no. 040 (UMI Research Press : Ann Arbor MI 1983). Reviewed by Sid Moody for The Weekly Wire (19 July 1999) [includes interview with Linda Dalrymple Henderson].
  • Mario Amaya
    'Son of the Bride Stripped Bare', in Art and Artists 1, no. 4 (London July 1966) 22-28. Interview with Richard Hamilton on his reconstruction of the Large Glass for the Tate show in 1966.
  • André Breton
    'Phare de La Mariée', in Minotaure 2, no. 6 (Paris Winter 1935) 45-49. Reprinted in Lebel Sur Marcel Duchamp (Paris 1959).
  • Katherine S. Dreier and Matta Echauren
    Duchamp's Glass. La Mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même. An analytical Reflection (Société Anonyme : New York 1944).
  • John Golding
    The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (London 1972 / Viking Press : New York 1973).
  • Richard Hamilton
    The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even Again. A reconstruction by Richard Hamilton of Marcel Duchamp's Large Glass (University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne : Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1966).
  • Linda Dalrymple Henderson
    Duchamp in Context. Science and Technology in the Large Glass and Related Works (Princeton University Press : Princeton 1998). More onformation.
  • Linda Dalrymple Henderson
    'The Large Glass seen anew. Reflections of contemporary science and technology in Marcel Duchamp's "hilarious picture"', in Leonardo 32 (April 1999) 113-126. Marcel Duchamp's 'The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even' (The Large Glass) of 1915-1923 is a unique image-text system in which the physical object is complemented by hundreds of preparatory notes the artist considered to be as important as the object itself. Although Duchamp talked of 'Playful Physics' in his notes for the Glass, much of his humor and the breadth of his creative invention was obscured for later audiences when, after 1919, the popularization of relativity theory eclipsed the late Victorian ether physics that had fascinated the public in the early years of the century. Indeed, drawing upon contemporary science and technology, among other fields, Duchamp had created in the 'Large Glass' a witty, multivalent commentary on the age-old theme of sexual desire, presented in the very newest verbal and visual languages. These ideas are explored in this article, reprinted from the conclusion of the author's book Duchamp in Context. Science and Technology in the Large Glass and Related Works.
  • Marc LeBot
    'Marcel Duchamp et ses "Celibataires mêmes"', in Esprit 179 (1992) 6-15. Places Marcel Duchamp's 'ready-mades' in the context of early 20th-century aesthetic debates about what constitutes art and the role of museums.
  • Francis M. Naumann
    'Marcel Duchamp's Notes for the Large Glass. An Exhibition Proposal' (June 24, 1998).
  • Francis M. Naumann
    'The Bachelor's Quest', in Art in America 81, no. 9 (19930 72-81, 67, 69. Such works as the 'Large Glass', or 'The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even' and the 'Etant Donnés' reflect the themes of unattainability and sexual frustration that characterized the private life of Marcel Duchamp. [Historical Abstracts].
  • Arturo Schwarz
    'The Alchemist stripped bare, in the Bachelor, even', in Anne d'Harnoncourt and Kynaston McShine (eds.), Marcel Duchamp (Museum of Modern Art etc. : New York etc. 1973) 81-98.
  • Arturo Schwarz
    'Prolegomena to the 'Large Glass', in Avant Grade. Revue Interdisciplinaire et Internationale No. 2 (Amsterdam 1989) 23-58. Transcription of the lecture delivered at the University of Sao Paolo on October 1st, 1987.
  • Lawrence D. Steefel, Jr.
    'The Art of Marcel Duchamp', in The Art Journal 22, no. 2 (Winter 1962-1963). Steefel's doctoral dissertation for Princeton University was titled The Position of La Marie mise a nu par ses Clibataires, meme (1915-1923) in the Stylistic and Iconographic Development of Marcel Duchamp (1961).
  • Lawrence D. Steefel, Jr.
    'Marcel Duchamp and the Machine', in Anne d'Harnoncourt and Kynaston McShine (eds.), Marcel Duchamp (Museum of Modern Art etc. : New York etc. 1973) 69-80.
  • Jean Suquet
    'From the Splash to the Flash, with the best wishes of Le Soigneur de Gravité / The Large Glass. A Guided Tour' (Caen and Paris: l'Échoppe, 1992); republished with an introduction by André Gervais and translated by Julia Koteliansky with Sarah Kilborne in tout-fait. The Marcel Duchamp Online Studies Journal issue 1 (1999).
  • Jean Suquet
    'Voyage through the Large Glass with the Very First Computer Animation of the Large Glass' / translated by Sarah Skinner Kilborne with Julia Koteliansky, in tout-fait. The Marcel Duchamp Online Studies Journal issue 2 (2000).
  • Marcel Duchamp. Drawings, etchings for the Large Glass, ready-mades, lent by Galleria Schwarz, Milano. Catalogue no. 92 (Israel Museum : Jerusalem 1972). Catalogue to for the exhibition held at Spertus Hall, Israel Museum (March-May 1972).
  • The Large Glass and related works (Galleria Schwarz : Milan 1967). Catalogo mensile (Galleria Schwartz) no. 75.
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