Tag Archive | 1923

Modern Art Monday: Florine Stettheimer, Portrait of Marcel Duchamp and Rrose Selavy

Portrait of Marcel Duchamp
Photo By Gail

The French Dada artist Marcel Duchamp was a member of artist Florine Stettheimer’s family’s inner circle. He is depicted here in the company of Rrose Selavy, the female alter ego that he invented in 1920. He casually carries out his game of sexual transformation by means of a contraption operated from an armchair. The clock and the chess knight are both Ducahmpian symbols: the one being a reference to the circularity of Dada time; the other an illusions to Duchamp’s prowess at chess. The frame (also by Stettheimer), composed of Duchamp’s monogram in a circle of infinite repetition, wryly comments on his program of artistic self-promotion and his obsession with identity and its ambiguities.

Portrait of Marcel Duchamp and Rrose Selavy (1923) was Photographed in the Jewish Museum in Manhattan.

Modern Art Monday: Man Ray, Indestructible Object

Indestructible Object
Photo By Gail

Man Ray (1890 – 1976) was a consummate avant-garde artist who often incorporated everyday materials in his work and embraced chance and accident. In this piece, originally created in 1923, and tiled Object to Be Destroyed, Man Ray places a photographic eye on the ticking wand of a metronome to make an object at once mechanical and human, quotidian and bizarre. The use of found objects aligns the work with Dada, while the psychological resonance of the eye points to themes that would become important to Surrealism, officially founded a year later in 1924. Man Ray remade the present version in 1963, six years after the original was destroyed at an exhibition. He wryly re-titled it Indestructible Object to reflect its seemingly indestructible nature.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Tiffany Stained Glass Window: Autumn Landscape

Tiffany Stained Glass Window
Autumn Landscape, 1923-24, Leaded Favrile Glass (Photo By Gail)

A tour de force of its medium, this window, executed late in Tiffany’s career, portrays the late afternoon sun filtered through a rich autumnal foliage. It was probably designed by Agnes Northrop (1857 – 1953), who was known especially for her landscapes and flowers.

No paint was used to add detail; rather, the modeling, texture and form were created solely with glass, using the full range developed at Tiffany Studios. The variegated surface was made by wrinkling glass it its molten state. Different color effects were achieved by embedding tiny, confetti-like flakes of glass in the surface. Plating – the superimposition of several layers of glass on the back of the window – added depth.

Although commissioned in 1923 by Loren D. Towle for the stair landing of his enormous neo-Gothic mansion in Boston, the window was never installed. In 1925, Robert W. de Forest, Tiffany’s close friend, donated the window to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he was president and founder of the American Wing.