By John F. Moffitt

ISBN-10: 0791457109

ISBN-13: 9780791457108

A desirable booklet demonstrating the impression of alchemy and esoteric traditions at the mature artwork of Marcel Duchamp.

Acknowledged because the "Artist of the Century," Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) left a legacy that dominates the artwork global to at the present time. Inventing the sarcastically dégagé angle of "ready-made" art-making, Duchamp heralded the postmodern period and changed Pablo Picasso because the function version for avant-garde artists. John F. Moffitt demanding situations in general approved interpretations of Duchamp's paintings and personality by means of displaying that his mature artwork, after 1910, is essentially drawn from the impression of the occult traditions. Moffitt demonstrates that the foremost to realizing the cryptic that means of Duchamp's different works of art and writings is alchemy, the main pictorial of all of the occult philosophies and sciences.

This cutting edge paintings background is written in a full of life, targeted type. very similar to a prosecuting lawyer's short, Alchemist of the Avant-Garde argues its case with documented historic facts, now not theoretical types. a desirable learn, Moffitt's paintings might be welcomed through artists, artwork fans, and all these attracted to the cultural historical past of the fashionable and postmodern eras.

“…this large and profound learn is very informative, thought-provoking and horizon-broadening.” — AMBIX, magazine of the Society for the background of Alchemy and Chemistry

"The complete publication is unforeseen to those that have by no means thought of Duchamp as an alchemist, starting from the professors who comprise him of their artwork heritage surveys to the authors of even fatter books approximately him. Moffitt's a prolific and extremely commonly cultured writer, with targeted services within the Renaissance and within the topic of forgery in addition to in these such a lot enigmatic of recent artists, Joseph Beuys and Marcel Duchamp. i will not identify the other artwork historian who is aware the esoteric box in addition to he does." — Joscelyn Godwin, writer of Theosophical Enlightenment

John F. Moffitt is Professor Emeritus of paintings historical past at New Mexico kingdom collage. he's the writer of Spanish portray; Occultism in Avant-Garde artwork: The Case of Joseph Beuys; Velázquez, práctica e suggestion: Estudios dispersos; artwork Forgery: The Case of the girl of Elche; the humanities in Spain; and Picturing Extraterrestrials: Alien Imagery in glossy Mass tradition. he's coauthor (with Santiago Sebastián) of O courageous New humans: the eu Invention of the yank Indian.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Prosecuting the Duchamp Case
1. An Esoteric French youth for Duchamp: Symbolist tradition and Occultism
2. the discovery of the trendy Alchemist-Artist
3. The Cultural Shaping of an Artist-Iconoclast: Duchamp in France, 1887–1915
4. Duchamp's First Experiments in Esoteric and Alchemical paintings, 1910–1912

5. Duchamp in big apple with Esoteric buyers and the massive Glass, 1915–1923
6. Alchemical Emblematics and the Ready-Mades, 1913–1923
7. The Esoteric Fourth measurement and legislation of probability, 1895–1923
8. The Circle Closes, 1923–1968
Epilogue: The Prosecution Rests
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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This procedure will not only clarify the problems of linguistics, but rituals, customs, etc. 22 An erudite contemporary’s retrospective summation of what seemed to be transpiring, in effect a significant shift in focus from objects to relations, is Alfred North Whitehead’s Science and the Modern World (1925). Looking back over what seemed to constitute a newly entrenched modernist perception of the world around him, Whitehead recognized that “this new tinge to modern minds is a vehement and passionate interest in the relation of general principles to irreducible and stubborn facts [now] absorbed in the weaving of general principles.

However one arrives at the realization of the latent (occulta) Correspondences, it is accepted that Man lies at the center of occultist thoughts. The human body is, accordingly, taken to represent the particular sign of Creation in the widest sense: the perceptible operations of the universe, the macrocosm, are often symbolized in the shape of a living man, a microcosm. Since men and women are created by sexual means, then it logically follows that the sex act—the microcosmic image of Creation— is both a divine sign and a gift from On High (au delà in the terminology of modern French esotericism).

This new (actually neo-Mesmeric) spiritualist and animistic vision is what Lévi calls that Composite Agent, a natural and Divine Agent, at once corporeal and spiritual, an Universal Plastic Mediator, a common receptacle for vibrations of movement and images of Form, a fluid and a force which may be called, in a sense at least, the Imagination of Nature. By the mediation of this Force, every nervous apparatus is in secret communication together; hence come Sympathy and Antipathy, hence dreams, hence the phenomena of second sight and extra-natural vision.

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Alchemist of the Avant-Garde: The Case of Marcel Duchamp by John F. Moffitt


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