TitleMarcel Duchamp Art Medal (based on Bouche-Évier, or Sink Stopper) (obverse)
Medium & Supportsilver
Dimensions2 1/2 in. (6.35 cm.)
Credit LineGift of John C. Pickard, Class of 1922
CopyrightThis artwork may be under copyright. For further information, please consult the Museum’s Copyright Terms and Conditions.
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Marcel Duchamp’s delightful Bouche Évier, or Sink Stopper, playfully confronts the viewer with a query the artist first posed to himself in 1913: “Can one make a work of art that is not a work of art?” Duchamp’s interrogation of the very nature of art would lead to his invention of the readymade, a work of art consisting of an everyday object transformed by virtue of being removed from its ordinary environment and signed by the artist. This multiple, which derived from a lead sink stopper created by the artist, undermines the expectation that a work of art be a unique original. In a final conceptual twist, Duchamp here transforms a humble, utilitarian object into treasure by rendering it in a precious material, playing up its visual resemblance to coins and medals and raising questions about the cultural value historically placed on art objects.
Portfolios: Collections: Sculpture - European Collections: Sculpture