Rhonda Roland Shearer - Art History

Art History

As an art historian, Shearer posited that many of Marcel Duchamp's supposedly "readymade" works of art were actually created by Duchamp. Research that Shearer published in 1997, "Marcel Duchamp's Impossible Bed and Other 'Not' Readymade Objects: A Possible Route of Influence From Art To Science", lays out these arguments. In the paper, she showed that research of items like snow shovels and bottle racks in use at the time failed to turn up any identical matches to photographs of the originals. However, there are accounts of Walter Arensberg and Joseph Stella being with Duchamp when he purchased the original Fountain at J. L. Mott Iron Works. Such investigations are hampered by the fact that few of the original "readymades" survive, having been lost or destroyed. Those that exist today are predominantly reproductions Duchamp authorized or designed in the final two decades of his life. Shearer also asserts that the artwork L.H.O.O.Q., a poster-copy of the Mona Lisa with a moustache drawn on it, is not the true Mona Lisa, but Duchamp's own slightly-different version that he modelled partly after himself. The inference of Shearer's viewpoint is that Duchamp was creating an even larger joke than he admitted.

The 'accounts' of Walter Arensberg and Joseph Stella are hearsay accounts, no one has any proof of the three actually making a urinal purchase, namely in the form of receipts, other witnesses, etc.

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