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In Advance of the Broken Arm (In prévision du bras cassé)

Marcel Duchamp challenged traditional definitions of art with his controversial readymades, produced between 1913 and 1921. The readymades were mass-produced items, some slightly altered, that Duchamp presented as works of art. In 1964, Duchamp and his Milan dealer Arturo Schwarz produced a limited edition of replicas of the original readymades, most of which had been lost. The Eskenazi Museum of Art owns one of only three complete sets of the 1964 edition of eight (the others are at the National Gallery of Canada and the Israel Museum).

Duchamp turned an everyday snow shovel into art by hanging it from the ceiling of his studio. This readymade’s humorous title suggests the danger inherent in the act of shoveling snow.

Marcel Duchamp
French (active in the United States), 1887‒1968
In Advance of the Broken Arm (In prévision du bras cassé)
1964 authorized replica edition (original 1915)
Wood and galvanized steel snow shovel
Edition 8/8
47 ¾ x 13 7/8 x 3 ½ in. (121.3 x 35.2 x 8.9 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Partial gift of Mrs. William H. Conroy, 71.37.4

Large image not available.