An Influential Artist Of The 20th Century Essay

1219 Words Aug 11th, 2016 5 Pages
Post modern society has long been asking what makes an influential artist. And who is the most influential artist of the 20th century. The following is a case for Marcel Duchamp. The Duchampian ideals laid out in the beginning of the 20th century changed what it meant to be an artist for the rest of time, influencing artists of different styles and movements. In 1917, Marcel Duchamp submitted a porcelain urinal turned 90 degrees with the name “R. Mutt” signed on it to the exhibition of the New York Society of Independent Artists. The porcelain urinal was not accepted Of course at the time, the world did not know that it was Duchamp, in fact they still were unaware when Duchamp sent an anonymous letter to a magazine called The Blind Man. In the letter, he challenged some of the grounds for the refusal because he was under the impression that “any artist paying six dollars may exhibit.” In his letter, Duchamp begins to tell the world about his artistic ideals, chiefly that the artist can choose the work. Duchamp wrote that, “whether Mr. Mutt with his own hands made the fountain has no importance...He took an ordinary article of life, placed it so that its significance disappearance under the new title and point of view--created a new thought for that object.” This idea of the artist choosing what is art changed the definition of art for many people--artists or not. Furthermore, it changed the definition of what it meant to be an artist. Artists could now choose what art…

Related Documents