‘Duchamp praised his friend's penetrating insights into his life and work in 1958 for helping ‘me understand myself, because he provides me with clarifications I had never thought of about my works and about my behavior. True art criticism should be a contribution and not, as it is in most cases, a simple translation of the untranslatable.’—Michael R. Taylor
‘Marcel Duchamp’ became the go-to book on the legendary artist for many decades following its publication in late 1959, when editions in French and English were simultaneously released. After being out of print for more than sixty years, the Grove Press English edition is now back in circulation with Hauser & Wirth Publishers’ fully authorized facsimile of Duchamp’s seminal first monograph and catalogue raisonné.
This iconic title is the culmination of many years of Duchamp’s collaboration with its author, art historian and critic Robert Lebel. To this day, the book’s texts, which include chapters authored by Duchamp, H.P. Roché, and André Breton, remain just as relevant and impactful, as does Duchamp’s book design. Hauser & Wirth Publishers reanimates ‘Marcel Duchamp’ with its faithful reproduction of the 1959 Grove Press edition alongside Jean-Jacques Lebel, Robert Lebel’s son, and Association Marcel Duchamp, representing the artist’s estate.
The facsimile of the historic edition is presented in a slipcase with a supplement edited by Jean-Jacques Lebel and Association Marcel Duchamp. The supplement features texts and archival material that stitch together the story of Duchamp and Lebel’s close collaboration and, as contributor Michael Taylor writes, how the original publication signified a ‘sea change in the artist’s receptivity to critical interpretation.’
Over the past decade, Jean-Jacques Lebel and Association Marcel Duchamp, pursued a passion to reprint ‘Marcel Duchamp’. The prominent title introduced the revolutionary artist to English speaking audiences in the late 1950s and remains a vital point of reference for understanding Duchamp’s oeuvre, his wholly unique ideas and inner circle of artistic peers. Since 2018, Hauser & Wirth Publishers has been working alongside Lebel and Association Marcel Duchamp to realise the 2021 reedition, working with the curatorial-design studio fluid and art historians as well as book specialists to re-create a title that was fabricated more than 60 years ago.
‘Duchamp had finally reconciled himself to the gap between the various interpretations of his artistic production and his own understanding of the ideas behind them. This sea change in the artist's receptivity to critical interpretation thus allowed his trusted friend and confidant to write a book that continues to inform and inspire its readers more than sixty years since its first publication.’—Michael R. Taylor
Visit the Los Angeles gallery to explore a Book Lab presentation that illuminates the journey to resurrect the critically acclaimed monograph and catalogue raisonné. On view are original proofs from the publishing process and a video about the making of the book.
In the spring of 1936, a young French art historian named Robert Lebel walked into the Madison Avenue gallery of Alfred Stieglitz in New York, not far from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and saw a fellow Frenchman he had been hoping to meet for years, Marcel Duchamp. ‘I was struck by his radiance and his capacity for contempt,’ Lebel recalled later...
Hauser & Wirth Publishers has championed artist books since 1992, where it has steadily flourished through partnerships with reputable imprints before publishing independently under its own imprint. Artists’ voices, exceptional art, scholarship, design, and bookmaking are at the heart of Hauser & Wirth Publishers’ program.
Hauser & Wirth Publishers is open Tue – Fri, 10 am – 6 pm, Sat, 11 am – 4 pm.