Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968)
Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968)

Marcel Duchamp vif moulé 1967

Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968)
Marcel Duchamp vif moulé 1967
signed, inscribed, dated, numbered and stamped with foundary mark 'Marcel Duchamp moulé vif 1967 III/VI EDITIONS LES MAITRES LTD New York © 1967' (on the back of the base)
bronze with brown patina, onyx and Black Belgian marble
Height: 21½ in. (54.6 cm.)
Length: 16¾ in. (42.5 cm.)
Width: 9 1/8 in. (23.2 cm.)
Original wax assemblage executed 1966-1967; this bronze version cast in 1967
Forum Gallery Inc., New York.
Acquired from the above by the late owner, 1979.
A. Jouffroy, "Duchamp prince de l'insolence," Arts Loisirs, June 1967, no. 87, pp. 20-21 (another cast illustrated, p. 21).
A. Schwarz, The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp, New York, 1970, no. 394 (another cast illustrated, p. 563).
J. Hobhouse, "A private joke between myself and myself," ARTnews, April 1977, vol. 76, no. 4, p. 41 (original wax assemblage illustrated).
A. Schwarz, The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp, New York, 1997, vol. II, p. 867, no. 638 (another cast illustrated).

Lot Essay

Duchamp learned to play chess from his brothers and became a talented amateur who participated in championship tournaments. In 1932 he co-authored an important contribution on the subject of the endgame, Opposites and Sister Squares are Reconciled. "'Why isn't my chess playing an art activity', Duchamp asked Truman Capote. 'A chess game is very plastic. You construct it. It's mechanical sculpture and with chess one creates beautiful problems and that beauty is made with the head and hands'" (A. Schwarz, 1970, op. cit., p. 68). The present assemblage is composed of life casts made from Duchamp's face and Alfred Wolkenberg's right arm (Wolkenberg was director of Editions les Maîtres Ltd.), and the knight was cast from a piece in the artist's favorite chess set.

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