Marcel Duchamp remains arguably the most important voice in visual art of the last century. His ideas about what art can be and how art can function in the world continue to revolutionize contemporary art, and his influence has reached artists in a variety of disciplines, including makers and thinkers alike. Among his many radical positions, Duchamp was the first to take an object from its everyday use and transform it into an artwork solely by changing its context. Known as “readymades,” these works located the artistic act in the moment of engagement, not in the act of making, and redefined the nominative power of the artist. Over one hundred artworks by more than fifty artists inspired or influenced by Duchamp were brought together in an imaginative installation whose design took its cues from the trickster mentality of the artist’s own curatorial practice. Several of the artists included turned the notion of the readymade inside-out, handcrafting objects that are usually mass-produced. Others expounded on Duchamp’s play with sexuality and gender, while still more produced exact copies of his works in a full embrace of his concept of appropriation, a mimicry that the artist himself considered complimentary.
Artists in this exhibition included Matthew Antezzo, Robert Arneson, Conrad Bakker, Alan Belcher, Ray Beldner, Nayland Blake, Kevin Carter, Stephen Dean, Marcel Duchamp, Hans Peter Feldmann, Dan Fischer, Fischli & Weiss, Jan Galligan, Sam Gordon, Kathy Grove, Hans Haacke, Ann Hamilton, Ray Johnson, Jeff Koons, Joseph Kosuth, Barbara Kruger, Gabriel Kuri, Louise Lawler, Marko Lehanka, Sherrie Levine, Allan McCollum, Josiah McElheny, Man Ray, Christian Marclay, Sophie Matisse, Ulrich Meister, Jonathan Monk, Bruce Nauman, Greg O’Halloran, Michael Oatman, Richard Pettibone, Gert Rappenecker, David Robbins, Andrei Roiter, Jonathan Santlofer, Naomi Savage, Jonathan Seliger, Nancy Shaver, Judith Shea, Andrew Stafford, Haim Steinbach, Jana Sterbak, George Stoll, Sturtevant, Paul Thek, Rosemarie Trockel, Keith Tyson, Meyer Vaisman, Douglas Vogel, William Wegman, Steve Wolfe, and Kevin Wolff.