Trivium Art HistoryMarcel Duchamp

In Advance of the Broken Arm

In Advance of the Broken Arm, 1915 — Marcel Duchamp,
132 cm

Some jokes are worth telling over and over. In 1915 Marcel Duchamp walked into a hardware store, purchased a snow shovel, signed it, dated it, called it In Advance of the Broken Arm and hung it from his studio ceiling. Art!

This intentional perversion of artistic creation is called a 'readymade' — claiming a found object as an artwork. Readymades were a popular form of Dadist art, and Duchamp is often cited as the inventor of the idea, however, for all his innovation, we believe it was his much wilder friend Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven who created the first Readymades. 

Duchamp 'remade' In Advance of the Broken Arm many times — the image above is from fouth version, created in 1964.

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