Having been worrying about a crack in the glass of one of my sculptures in process, I discussed it with Glenn. He did not take to all of art history in school, so sometimes spaces need to be filled in. Love to do that for him.
About the crack in the glass:
Me: You know, Marcel Duchamp made a large glass called ” Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even“, and the glass which was the base of the composition was broken during transfer. Duchamp looked at the lines in the piece and said “Now it is finished”.
Glenn: What?? Why didn’t he just stay home? Or plow a field?
We laughed a long time at his very pertinent (on the surface) comment. Seems like a no brainer. Above are those lines, the broken glass lines. Why are his lines good, and mine not so good?
Any answer is difficult when we know that Marcel was anti-art. I can describe to you why his lines are good, and make sense in the composition. Then we have to remember that Marcel did not intend these lines, they were an accident. That is the essence of the kind of (anti) artist Duchamp was: incorrigible.
I will talk about composition but Marcel was against that. Those who worked in Dada were against everything. It was hard to get out of bed in the morning for them, much less create. The world was in a mess. The art world was in a mess. They wanted to exist outside it and comment. But still make stuff.
Glenn asked why he didn’t just stay home. When you are an artist, you have to create. Artists observe, and many MUST comment. Like bakers bake bread. They just have to. So as much as Marcel was anti-art, there he was, stuck with the need to make things and comment. I am sure it sucked. He wanted all establishment to know that there could be other rules and other ways to do things, both in politics and in art. And then he had to try to make money by selling art on top of that.
Poor Marcel. What was the quote? Ann Richards said that women have to do everything men do when dancing, but backwards and in high heels? I can see poor Marcel trying to sell his art with a similar noose around his neck!
Above is my crack in the glass. Comparing the two examples, you can see that mine is clearly a flaw and unintentional. If we look at “The Bride” we see more of a pattern and undulating lines in the cracking. They seem natural, and intentional, although we know they were not. To me, the ground in his piece, the clear glass area, without the cracking, might have been just a little too sterile. It is the cracking that integrates the figure better with the ground.
The cracking in the glass is repeated in several areas of the composition, as one would any detail in a work. Rarely does a line, shape, color or whatever appear just once in a composition. Marcel recognized the merit of this occurrence, and embraced it.