La Boîte-en-Valise [Box in a Suitcase] (1935 - 1941)
About this artwork
This leather case contains sixty-nine miniature reproductions of Duchamp's works. This is number two of twenty-four de-luxe versions of the case. Each of these features a different, hand-coloured 'original' fixed to the inside of the lid. The box 'unpacks' in such a way that some sections slide out, with other folders and black-mounted prints inside. For Duchamp there was no clear distinction between the original and the reproduction, a concept cleverly embodied in this piece. The case is also reminiscent of a travelling salesman's display case, containing a selection of Duchamp's pre-1935 work like a portable museum, made for his move to New York in 1942.
- title: La Boîte-en-Valise [Box in a Suitcase]
- accession number: GMA 3472
- artist: Marcel DuchampAmerican (1887 - 1968)
- gallery: Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art One(Print Room)
- object type: Sculpture
- subject: Surrealism
- materials: Leather-covered case containing miniature replicas and photographs of Duchamp's works (De-luxe edition no. 2/20)
- date created: 1935 - 1941
- measurements: 10.00 x 38.00 x 40.50 cm (closed)
- credit line: Presented anonymously 1989
- copyright: © Succession Marcel Duchamp/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016
- photographer: Antonia Reeve
Duchamp was born in France, but lived for much of his adult life in America. In 1911 he was painting in a cubist style, but he virtually stopped painting after 1912. Duchamp was intrigued by the idea that ordinary, mass-produced things could be considered as art objects in their own right. He preferred simply to sign, and sometimes alter, household objects, terming them 'readymades'. On moving to America in 1915, Duchamp became a leading figure in the New York Dada group, along with Picabia and Man Ray. His questioning attitude towards definitions of authenticity, originality, artistry and authorship has been immensely influential.