Download Alchemist of the Avant-Garde: The Case of Marcel Duchamp by John F. Moffitt PDF

By John F. Moffitt

A desirable publication demonstrating the impression of alchemy and esoteric traditions at the mature artwork of Marcel Duchamp.

Acknowledged because the "Artist of the Century," Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) left a legacy that dominates the paintings international to today. Inventing the sarcastically dégagé perspective of "ready-made" art-making, Duchamp heralded the postmodern period and changed Pablo Picasso because the function version for avant-garde artists. John F. Moffitt demanding situations usually permitted interpretations of Duchamp's paintings and personality by means of exhibiting that his mature paintings, after 1910, is basically drawn from the impact of the occult traditions. Moffitt demonstrates that the main to figuring out the cryptic that means of Duchamp's various artistic endeavors and writings is alchemy, the main pictorial of all of the occult philosophies and sciences.

This cutting edge artwork heritage is written in a full of life, distinctive type. very like a prosecuting lawyer's short, Alchemist of the Avant-Garde argues its case with documented old facts, no longer theoretical versions. a desirable learn, Moffitt's paintings may be welcomed by way of artists, artwork fans, and all these drawn to the cultural historical past of the trendy and postmodern eras.

“…this broad and profound study is very informative, thought-provoking and horizon-broadening.” — AMBIX, magazine of the Society for the background of Alchemy and Chemistry

"The entire booklet is unforeseen to people who have by no means thought of Duchamp as an alchemist, starting from the professors who comprise him of their paintings background surveys to the authors of even fatter books approximately him. Moffitt's a prolific and extremely extensively cultured writer, with exact services within the Renaissance and within the topic of forgery in addition to in these such a lot enigmatic of contemporary artists, Joseph Beuys and Marcel Duchamp. i will not identify the other artwork historian who is familiar with the esoteric box in addition to he does." — Joscelyn Godwin, writer of Theosophical Enlightenment

John F. Moffitt is Professor Emeritus of paintings heritage at New Mexico kingdom collage. he's the writer of Spanish portray; Occultism in Avant-Garde paintings: The Case of Joseph Beuys; Velázquez, práctica e concept: Estudios dispersos; paintings Forgery: The Case of the woman of Elche; the humanities in Spain; and Picturing Extraterrestrials: Alien Imagery in smooth Mass tradition. he's coauthor (with Santiago Sebastián) of O courageous New humans: the ecu Invention of the yank Indian.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Prosecuting the Duchamp Case
1. An Esoteric French early life for Duchamp: Symbolist tradition and Occultism
2. the discovery of the fashionable Alchemist-Artist
3. The Cultural Shaping of an Artist-Iconoclast: Duchamp in France, 1887–1915
4. Duchamp's First Experiments in Esoteric and Alchemical artwork, 1910–1912

5. Duchamp in manhattan with Esoteric consumers and the massive Glass, 1915–1923
6. Alchemical Emblematics and the Ready-Mades, 1913–1923
7. The Esoteric Fourth measurement and legislation of likelihood, 1895–1923
8. The Circle Closes, 1923–1968
Epilogue: The Prosecution Rests

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42 In practice, Mesmer’s esoteric hypnotic doctrines showed themselves to be clearly akin to Swedenborg’s correspondences. Mesmerism postulated the existence of a subtle fluid pervading all bodies and manifesting itself in the motions of the planets, in tidal and atmospheric changes, and in other natural cycles. Mesmerism additionally had a particular therapeutic application: when the natural ebb and flow of “mesmeric” fluid within the human body is put out of harmony with the universal rhythm, nervous or mental disorders result.

Mesmer explained in his Mémoire sur la découverte du magnétisme animal that Animal magnetism is a fluid universally diffused; it is the medium of a mutual influence between the heavenly bodies, the earth, and animated bodies; it is everywhere continuous, so as to leave no void. Its subtlety admits of no comparison; it is capable of receiving, propagating, communicating all the impressions of motions. . The actions and the virtues of animal magnetism may be communicated from one body to another, animate and inanimate.

46 “Éliphas Lévi” was the nom de plume of Alphonse-Louis Constant (1810–1875), a figure now generally acknowledged to be the most important synthesizer of esoterica in nineteenth-century France. In Lévi’s two fundamental, often reprinted studies, Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie (1856) and l’Histoire de la Magie (1860), we find the ultimate resolution of philosophia perennis. It is no coincidence that such Ancient Wisdom happens to appear on the chronological threshold of the new age of early Modernism.

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