by Pericles Lewis

The most famous dada artist, Marcel Duchamp, living in New York, submitted to an exhibition a piece entitled “Fountain” (1917). One of his “ready-mades,” or mass-produced objects that he purchased and presented as art, “Fountain” was a urinal, turned upside down and signed “R. Mutt.” Duchamp was claiming, in effect, that he as an artist had only to find some ready-made object, title it, and display it in a gallery to make it art. He shared with other dadaists and with the Italian futurists a scorn for museums and for the notion that a particular group of experts (other than artists themselves) could define art, including some works and excluding others.[1]

  1. ↑ This page has been adapted from Pericles Lewis’s Cambridge Introduction to Modernism (Cambridge UP, 2007), pp. 107-108.