Fania (Profile)
From The Box of 1914

Marcel Duchamp, American (born France), 1887 - 1968

Geography:
Made in New York, New York, United States, North and Central America

Date:
1915

Medium:
Dark brown ink, black typewriter ink, and graphite inscription on light tan wove paper

Dimensions:
Sheet: 10 15/16 x 8 1/2 inches (27.8 x 21.5 cm)

Copyright:
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel Duchamp

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1950-134-79(19)

Credit Line:
The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950

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Label:
To create this Dada "portrait" of the Russian silent movie star Fania Marinoff - wife of celebrity photographer Carl Van Vechten and a friend of the avant-garde collectors Louise and Walter Arensberg - Duchamp typed nonsense letters while pulling at the sheet of paper in the typewriter until he obtained a sort of profile, which he then embellished with pen and ink. This is an early and classic example of New York Dada (Duchamp had been living in New York for about six months when he made this work), with its punning lightness of spirit, its anti-rational dependence on chance operations, and its nose-thumbing at traditional artistic techniques.