Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Cigarette

Artist:
Marcel Duchamp (American (born France), Blanville 1887–1968 Neuilly-sur-Seine)
Date:
1936
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
30.0 x 20.7 cm (11 13/16 x 8 1/8 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.1100.99
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
Without its paper wrapper, Duchamp's cigarette becomes something else entirely-a potent signifier of sexuality stripped bare; a naked assemblage of chance in which the liberated tobacco rejoices in disarray. It may also represent a visual pun on the term découpage, which literally means "cutting out" but is more broadly defined as a mixing of elements-for instance, the text and images in George Hugnet's book of poemes-découpages for which Duchamp created this image. In the book, a page of text and symbols in different typefaces is juxtaposed with pasted images and scraps of text from other printed media. Poetry and collage work together-or against each other-to simultaneously create and undermine meaning through a seemingly random grouping of disparate elements.
Georges Hugnet to Kolodny; Frank Kolodny to MacGill; [Pace/MacGill to Waddell, October 1, 1985]; John C. Waddell

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