Obelisk Art History

Bicycle Wheel

Marcel Duchamp, 1913
Bicycle Wheel, Marcel Duchamp
Bicycle Wheel, zoomed in
129.5 cmBicycle Wheel scale comparison63.5 cm
See Bicycle Wheel in the Kaleidoscope

Bicycle Wheel is a Dadaist Wood and Steel artwork created by Marcel Duchamp in 1913. It lives at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the United States. The image is © Estate of Marcel Duchamp / ARS, New York / ADAGP, Paris, and used according to Educational Fair Use, and tagged Readymade and Sculpture.

Marcel Duchamp’s readymades were sculptural assemblages of found objects, often created as jokes or visual puns, or as with the Bicycle Wheel, for the simple pleasure of the juxtaposition. Duchamp described the wheel, saying: “I enjoyed looking at it, just as I enjoy looking at the flames dancing in a fireplace.” He apparently enjoyed the wheel enough to remake it several times, and although the original is now lost, his later versions can be viewed at the MOMA in New York, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The photo above is of Duchamp’s third Bicycle Wheel, made in 1951.

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The Writings Of Marcel Duchamp, Recommended Reading

For an infamous art-trickster, Marcel Duchamp wrote seriously about the nature of art and artists as 'mediumistic beings navigating a labyrinth beyond time and space.' Very worth a read.

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