Dialogue Lectures

Duchamp and the Women
– Five Dialogue Lectures

In a five-part series of digital Dialogue Lectures, the 31: Women exhibition’s curator, Dr. Renate Wiehager, and Dr. Katharina Neuburger discuss the connection between the exhibition 31: Women and the research project Duchamp and the Women| Duchamp as Curator. Published in 2020, the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection’s book Duchamp and the Women uses essays and biographical portraits to present the works and artistic significance of numerous outstanding women who were influential in cultural events from early modernism to the 1960s. At the same time, important initiatives and collaborations are discussed, primarily in France and the USA, which accompanied and influenced Marcel Duchamp’s work and artistic projects.

Part 1

The structure of the publication “Duchamp and the women” and a tour of the exhibition “31: Women”

Part 1 of the dialogue lectures discusses the structure of the book Duchamp and the Women and shows a tour of the exhibition 31: Women.

Part 2

Women around the young Duchamp: Gabrielle Buffet-Picabia, Suzanne Duchamp, Gertrude Stein

Part 2 of the five-part series of dialogue lectures dives into the structure of the publication Duchamp and the Women. Renate Wiehager and Katharina Neuburger discuss how the relationship of Duchamp’s work to the “friendships, collaborations, and networks” with women from the cultural and artistic circles of his time can be read anew today. They take a closer look at this question by portraying three key protagonists: Suzanne Duchamp, Gabrielle Buffet-Picabia and Gertrude Stein.

Part 3

Duchamp’s Network in New York around 1915: Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Beatrice Wood, Mina Loy, Louise Arensberg

In Part 3 of the Dialogue Lecture series, Renate Wiehager and Katharina Neuburger talk about Duchamp’s time in New York between 1915 and 1920, covering in particular the famous scandal around the Readymade Fountain (1917), a urinal turned upside down and placed on a pedestal, as well as the significance of important female writers and early collectors of Duchamp’s work. Among others, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Beatrice Wood, Mina Loy, and Louise Arensberg are featured.

Part 4

The Institutionalization of Duchamp’s Oeuvre: Katherine S. Dreier; Carrie, Florine and Ettie Stettheimer; Rrose Sélavy

Focusing on a network of women actors active in New York, Chicago, and Paris during the 1920s and 1930s, the conversation turns to aspects of Marcel Duchamp’s editorial and curatorial practice. Central to this is the founding of the exhibition institution Société Anonyme with Katherine S. Dreier and Duchamp’s involvement with female curators and literary figures in connection with his work for Constantin Brâncuși. Specific, work-immanent aspects are explored in relation to the Stettheimer sisters, via whom Duchamp’s interest in miniatures and the fluidity of gender roles is revealed.

Part 5

Duchamp, Surrealism, his late work: Mary Reynolds, Peggy Guggenheim, Maria Martins, Alexina “Teeny” Duchamp

In Part 5, the last of the Dialogue Lectures, Renate Wiehager and Katharina Neuburger discuss the protagonists of the Surrealist movement in Paris and New York, the importance of the American metropolis during World War II, and Marcel Duchamp’s late sculptural work. Of particular significance are Mary Reynolds, Peggy Guggenheim, and Maria Martins. As with the publication Duchamp and the Women, the series of talks ends with a tribute to Duchamp’s wife, Alexina “Teeny” Duchamp.


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