The 'Nude' in a Cubist Context

posted: 03-09-10
Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2)
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The Philadelphia Museum of Art's current Picasso show reimagines a 1912-era Parisian cubist salon to include allied works like Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase. While the gesture may necessitate some license (the painting was neither exhibited with the cubists nor deeply "cubist" in its concerns), it is still interesting to see cubism as a continuum of practice and a community of thought intimately connected to Picasso, but not yet entirely dependent on him.

That said, Duchamp did paint several explicitly "cubist" canvasses -- notably the Portrait of Chess Players and Transition of a Virgin into a Bride -- and it's a shame they're not here in addition or instead.


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