Marcel Duchamp and the Seduction of the Copy
From October 14, 2023, to March 18, 2024, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection presents Marcel Duchamp and the Seduction of the Copy, curated by Paul B. Franklin, an independent scholar based in Paris and one of the foremost experts on Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968). This exhibition marks the museum's first major solo show dedicated to Duchamp, one of the most influential and innovative artists of the 20th century, and a historic friend and advisor to the American patron Peggy Guggenheim.
Featuring around sixty works created between 1911 and 1968, the exhibition showcases iconic pieces from the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, such as Nude (sketch), Young Sad Girl on a Train (1911), and Box in a Valise (1935-41), alongside works from other prestigious Italian and American museums, including the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Complementing this valuable core of works are lesser-known pieces from the artist's Estate and private collections. Approximately half of the exhibited works come from the eminent Venetian collection of Attilio Codognato, a visionary collector who has been interested in the French artist's production since the early 1970s.
By reproducing his works using different techniques, sizes, and limited editions, Duchamp demonstrates that some duplicates and their originals offer a similar aesthetic pleasure. This is precisely how he redefines what constitutes a work of art and, by extension, the identity of the artist. Examining the absolutely innovative and varied ways in which Duchamp quotes himself throughout his long artistic career, the exhibition unfolds in interconnected sections, providing a unique opportunity to relate a fundamental selection of the artist's works—an essential exercise, as repeatedly emphasized by Duchamp, to understand his aesthetic project.
The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalog, published by Marsilio Arte, featuring an essay by the curator Paul B. Franklin.