Nude Descending a Staircase, No. The work is widely regarded as a Modernist classic and has become one of the most famous of its time. The discernible "body parts" of the figure are composed of nested, conical and cylindrical abstract elements, assembled together in such a way as to suggest rhythm and convey the movement of the figure merging into itself. Dark outlines limit the contours of the body while serving as motion lines that emphasize the dynamics of the moving figure, while the accented arcs of the dotted lines seem to suggest a thrusting pelvic motion.
Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase. The Armory Show
Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Log in or Sign up. If you walked into a museum and saw a urinal hanging on a gallery wall, would you think of it as art? What about a bicycle wheel on top of a stool?
Duchamp's Cubism: Nude Descending a Staircase & Portrait of Chess Players
Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase No. The painting was perceived by the majority of art critics to be utterly unintelligible, and it soon became the butt of jokes, jingles, and caricatures. The American Art News offered a ten dollar reward to the first reader who could "find the lady" 1 within the jumble of interlocking planes and jagged lines, and newspaper cartoonists had a field day with the painting, lampooning it with such titles as "The Rude Descending the Staircase Rush Hour at the Subway " and the memorable "Explosion in a Shingle Factory. Duchamp reduced the descending nude to a series of some twenty different static positions whose fractured volumes and linear panels fill almost the entire canvas.
A painting that is considered to be the most influential development in modern visual narrative and what is considered innovative in art. The American public, it seems, was not ready for something so scandalous as a nude figure no matter how stylized and unrecognizable in its figurative form in motion. From the Philadelphia Museum of Art :. The painting was bought directly from the Armory Show for three hundred dollars by a San Francisco dealer.