Biography of Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp (28 July 1887 – 2 October 1968) was a French artist whose work is most often associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. He is considered by some to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century, and his output influenced the development of post-World War I Western art. He advised modern art collectors, such as Peggy Guggenheim and other prominent figures, thereby helping to shape the tastes of Western art during this period.
Duchamp challenged conventional thought about artistic processes and art marketing, not so much by writing, but through subversive actions. He famously dubbed a urinal art and named it Fountain, though in a 1917 letter to his sister Duchamp indicates that a female friend, possibly the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, conceived of the urinal as sculpture and sent it to him under the pseudonym Richard Mutt. Duchamp produced relatively few artworks, while moving quickly through the avant-garde circles of his time.
Duchamp went on to abandon art and devoted the rest of his life to chess.