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"To understand his legacy, the only thing you can do is ask artists,” she says.

“I strongly believe that every artist working today has had the opportunity to go through a door that Duchamp opened for them: working through problems about the role of the artist, what constitutes art.

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Duchamp is widely considered one of the most important artists of the twentieth century, yet his personal life remained an enigma throughout his avidly scrutinized career.

And it marks a new direction for the Fine Art Society.

The UK’s oldest commercial gallery, established in 1876, it is moving with the times: the top floor, which used to be the flat for the managing director, is now a space for contemporary art.

” question, it’s fair to say Duchamp’s provocations are still relevant, still vital.Indeed, barely a conceptually challenging piece of work can be produced without it being declared “Duchampian”.Director of Contemporary Art at the Fine Art Society Kate Bryan was, however, struck by how it was always critics, collectors and catalogues that trumpeted Duchamp’s influence – not artists themselves.Tomkins, from his unique vantage point as both an accomplished art critic and a friend of Duchamps since the late 1950s, presents a piercing portrait of Duchamp, adeptly analyzing his art and career while also recounting his personal life, influences and relationships. This thoroughly researched, eminently readable book is by far the most authoritative Duchamp biography.

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