“Fifty years ago we were pariahs. A young girl’s parents would never let her marry an artist.” —Marcel Duchamp
In 1964, Calvin Tomkins spent a number of afternoons interviewing Marcel Duchamp in his apartment on West 10th Street in New York. Casual yet insightful, Duchamp reveals himself as a man and an artist whose playful principles toward living freed him to make art that was as unpredictable, complex, and surprising as life itself. Those interviews have never been edited and made public, until now. The Afternoon Interviews, which includes an introductory interview with Tomkins reflecting on Duchamp as an artist, guide, and friend, reintroduces the reader to key ideas of his artistic world and renews Duchamp as a vital model for a new generation of artists. This enhanced e-book includes five audio clips, including four from the original 1964 recording of the interview and a never before heard clip of Tomkins in 2012 telling a short story about Duchamp.
Calvin Tomkins was born in 1925 in Orange, New Jersey. He joined the New Yorker as a staff writer in 1960. His many profiles include John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, Merce Cunningham, Leo Castelli, Damien Hirst, Richard Serra, Bruce Nauman, Cindy Sherman, and Jasper Johns. Tomkins is the author of twelve books, including The Bride and the Bachelors (1965), Living Well Is the Best Revenge (1971), Lives of the Artists (2008), and Duchamp: A Biography (1996).
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worth anyone's while
This book provides a contemporary focus on Marcel Duchamp as an artist and a thinker. The conversations are as modern and relevant to concerns pertaining to today's art world as they were on the afternoons Calvin Tomkins met with Duchamp in his apartment, nearly fifty years ago.
Duchamp remains an important icon to every generation of artists that succeeded him, and the publishing of these interviews are timely; artists today are more concerned with the commercialization and integration of art into other industries more than ever, a topic Duchamp becomes increasingly at the center of, in part with the introduction of his readymades. Ultimately, the book provides an intimate portrayal of not only how he worked, but just as importantly, how he lived.
The interview is quite thought- inspiring and renders much contemplation on the way modern art work should be treated. This digital version of the book is well designed and even provides audio clips from the interview. Worth every buck.