MARCEL DUCHAMP (1887-1968), MIMI PARENT (1924-2005), and others
MARCEL DUCHAMP (1887-1968), MIMI PARENT (1924-2005), and others
MARCEL DUCHAMP (1887-1968), MIMI PARENT (1924-2005), and others
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MARCEL DUCHAMP (1887-1968), MIMI PARENT (1924-2005), and others
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION
MARCEL DUCHAMP (1887-1968), MIMI PARENT (1924-2005), and others

Couple de tabliers and Boîte alerte, Missives lascives

MARCEL DUCHAMP (1887-1968), MIMI PARENT (1924-2005), and others
Couple de tabliers and Boîte alerte, Missives lascives
replicated rectified readymade in two parts (male and female): cloth, fur and adhesive tape; each signed and dated 'Marcel Duchamp 59' (in ink on a strip of fabric tape on the reverse; framed)
box with lid containing: paperback catalogue, four original lithographs on Japon nacré by Miró, Dax, Toyen, and Svanberg, etching on paper by le Maréchal, vinyl record by Mansour and Péret, telegram on paper from Rrose Sélavy, six texts, silk stocking, six postcard reproductions of surrealist paintings, 10 envelopes, and other materials; numbered 'ex. XIV' (in ink inside the lid of the box)
Two aprons: male, 8 x 6 7/8 in. (20.3 x 17.7 cm.); female, 8 1/8 x 7 ¾ in. (20.5 x 19.8 cm.)
Box: 11 ½ x 7 1/8 x 2 3/8 in. (29 x 18 x 6 cm.)
Executed in 1959 in a limited edition of 20, numbered I-XX; Duchamp's Couple de tabliers completing a rare deluxe version of the exhibition catalogue Boîte alerte, assembled by Mimi Parent for Exposition inteRnatiOnale du Surréalisme (EROS), at the Galerie Daniel Cordier, Paris, December 1959 - February 1960.
Anonymous sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 8 August 2009, lot 576.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
A. Schwarz, Marcel Duchamp, Paris, 1969, p. 46 (the aprons illustrated pp. 200-201; titled 'Personnage').
A. D'Harnoncourt & K. McShine, eds., Marcel Duchamp, exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1973, no. 180, p. 313 (the aprons illustrated).
J. Clair, Marcel Duchamp, Paris, 1977; vol. II, catalogue raisonné, no. 165, p. 134 (the aprons illustrated p. 135); and vol. III, abécédaire, p. 34 (the aprons illustrated fig. 4).
A. de La Beaumelle & N. Pouillon, La Collection Du Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, 1986, pp. 185-186 (the aprons illustrated pp. 182-184).
A. Schwarz, I Surrealisti, Milan, 1989, pp. 198-199 & 627 (the aprons illustrated p. 283).
M. Gibson, Duchamp Dada, Paris, 1991, no. 300, pp. 232-233 (the aprons and the box illustrated).
J. Gough-Cooper & J. Caumont, Ephemerides on and about Marcel Duchamp and Rrose Sélavy 1887-1968, in exh. cat., Palazzo Grassi, Venice, 1993 (the aprons illustrated).
A. Schwarz, The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp, New York, 1997, no. 574, p. 822 (the aprons illustrated pp. 822-823).
F. M. Naumann, Marcel Duchamp, L'art à l'ère de la reproduction mécanisée, Paris, 1999, nos. 228 & 230, p. 320 (the aprons and the box with contents illustrated).
D. Ottinger, ed., Marcel Duchamp dans les collections du Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 2001, no. 35, p. 124 (the aprons and the box illustrated pp. 125-127).
A. Mahon, ‘Staging Desire’ in Surrealism: Desire Unbound, exh. cat., Tate, London, 2001, pp. 277-91.
G. Durozoi, History of the Surrealist Movement, Chicago, 2002, pp. 587-92 (the box illustrated p. 589).
Exh. cat., Marcel Duchamp, Museum Jean Tinguely, Basel, 2002, no. 125, pp. 142 & 217 (the aprons illustrated p. 143).
Exh. cat., Mimi Parent, Jean Benoît. Surréalistes, Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, 2004.
A. Schwarz, ed., Marcel Duchamp: una collezione italiana, exh. cat., Museo d'arte contemporanea, Genoa, 2006, no. 51, p. 166 (the aprons and the box illustrated p. 97; the aprons illustrated again on the cover and back cover).
Paris, Galerie Daniel Cordier, Exposition inteRnatiOnale du Surréalisme (EROS), December 1959 - February 1960 (this and other examples used as the deluxe exhibition catalogue).
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent. Cancellation under the EU Consumer Rights Directive may apply to this lot. Please see here for further information. This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

Brought to you by

Olivier Camu
Olivier Camu Deputy Chairman, Senior International Director

Lot Essay

In August 1959, Marcel Duchamp and André Breton invited artists, poets and writers to take part in the eighth Exposition inteRnatiOnale du Surréalisme (EROS). The theme of eroticism was chosen as both a reminder of the place it has always occupied in surrealism, and as an antidote to what was felt to be an increasingly oppressive period culturally and politically in the Fifth Republic. Acting as a deluxe catalogue for the exhibition, the Boîte alerte was designed by Canadian artist, Mimi Parent, with Duchamp adding the title Missives lascives (lascivious letters). The missives themselves were the contributions of other artists and writers involved in EROS including Joan Miró, Toyen, Hans Bellmer, Adrien Dax, Robert Benayoun, Joyce Mansour and many others. Parent's green box is filled with envelopes containing objects, letters, pictures and booklets, many of which incorporate provocative word and image-play and tie into the over-arching theme of eroticism that ran through the show. Acting almost as an exhibition in miniature, the Boîte alerte – translated literally as ‘emergency box,’ a pun on the name for a letterbox (boîte à lettres) – recalls Marcel Duchamp’s ‘portable museum’ La Boîte-en-Valise, though here it showcases the spirit of collaboration that lay at the heart of EROS.

Two hundred and fifty box ‘catalogues’ were made in total, but only the first twenty deluxe examples (numbered I to XX - including the present lot, no. XIV) were to include Duchamp’s rectified readymades Couple de tabliers (Couple of Laundress' Aprons), inspired by a pair of tartan oven-gloves the artist had found by chance in a shop in New York. ‘I’m sending you two little aprons destined to protect the hands from the excessive heat of pots and casseroles on the fire,’ Duchamp wrote to Breton, a month before the exhibition was due to open. ‘One is male, the other female. They could be executed in Paris in a few days, for not much money, if the idea pleases you’ (letter to André Breton, New York, 9 November 1959, quoted in A. Schwarz, The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp, vol. II, London, 1997, p. 822). Provocatively, the artist added male and female attributes made of stitched cloth and fake fur to the oven gloves, which could be hidden or revealed by openings in the fabric, lending the everyday objects a highly erotic, sexual character.

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