Marcel Duchamp, Self-Portrait in Profile, from Sur Marcel Duchamp/Eau et gaz à tous les étages by Robert Lebel (Paris: Editions Trianon, 1959). Torn-paper collage. Museum Purchase, Reva and David Logan Collection of Illustrated books, Reva and David Logan Fund. 2001.19.3
Marcel Duchamp: The Book and the Box
The rarely seen Boîte en Valise (1941) and Sur Marcel Duchamp (1959) take center stage in this small-focus exhibition featuring seven artworks by Marcel Duchamp (1877–1968) that refuse to conform to traditional bibliographic structure, hovering between book, objet d’art, and sculpture. The Boîte for example is a leather suitcase that contains miniature replicas, photographs, and color reproductions of Duchamp’s other works. Another work defying categorization is the catalogue of the exhibition Le Surrealisme in 1947 with its Duchamp-designed cover of a hand-colored foam-rubber breast mounted on a piece of irregularly shaped black velvet.
The exhibition complements the presentation of Man Ray | Lee Miller, Partners in Surrealism. Ray and Duchamp were friends and collaborators for over 50 years. Ray’s photographs of Duchamp and Duchamp’s “readymades” are included in the Boîte en Valise, Sur Marcel Duchamp, and Monte Carlo Bond (1924/1938); the cover of the magazine Minotaur (1935) shows one of Duchamp’s “rotoreliefs” superimposed on Man Ray’s photograph Dust Breeding (1920).