Marcel Duchamp's Unhappy Readymade
Attributed to Suzanne Duchamp, French, 1889 - 1963. Attributed to Jean Joseph Crotti, French (born Switzerland), 1878 - 1958.
Upon learning that his sister, Suzanne, had married the artist Jean Crotti in Paris while he was still in Argentina, Marcel Duchamp (American (born France), 1887 - 1968) sent as a wedding gift the idea of the “unhappy readymade.” He instructed them to hang a geometry book outside so that its pages would be torn apart and its text would be erased by the elements. Suzanne in turn photographed the book and later created a painting in homage to this gesture that welcomed the effects of chance and life.