Marcel Duchamp, Tulip Hysteria Co-ordinating

I really dig this Tulip Hysteria Co-ordinating ruse that Marcel Duchamp started. He told everyone that he was going to create a cubist painting entitled Tulip Hysteria Co-ordinating for the “First Annual Exhibition” of the Society of Independent Artists, at the Grand Central Palace in New York City in 1917. Everyone was intrigued. He created quite a hype.

Sun columnist Jane Dixon even wrote an article about it, saying, “I want you to see one of our unique exhibits… It Is really worth studying, especially the name. The artist calls it ‘Tulips Hysteria Coordinating.’ He says it was inspired by a bed of tulips at the flower show which was held here recently.” She was so enamored with the name, that she was sure that the painting would be stellar.

She goes on to review the piece. No doubt about it. Those were the most hysterical tulips I ever saw in my life. So hysterical were they that every vestige of resemblance to their former symmetrical selves had been lost and they were merely lurid splotches of color running wild on the canvas….You know these cubists do not paint a thing the way they see it. They paint in the way they feel it. There is no attempt to follow form. They just feel the subject, then they transfer their feelings to canvas.

He built up so much hype about it that people were expecting to see it, and very disappointed when no painting by that name was submitted. I can’t imagine how Ms. Dixon felt when she found out she has been duped.

Marcel, and especially Dada in general, is known for absurdist work. Marcel may have planned this to make fun of the board members as well as cubism, itself. I had not heard this story before in my art history classes. This is why I love Dada….and I love a good ruse.

Sidenote, the piece he did finally enter into the exhibition was the infamous Fountain piece.

#art, #antiart, #cubistart, #fictitiousart, #dada, #fountain, #tuliphysteriacoordinating

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