Duchamp at the Anatomy/Academy, PAFA
By J. Fan
posted: 03-06-11
Thomas Eakins (1844-1916), Portrait of Dr. Samuel D. Gross (The Gross Clinic), 1875
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Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in its new exhibition, Anatomy/Academy, in the Fisher Brooks Gallery in PAFA’s Hamilton Building, examines the interface of art and science and its continued role in expanding the frontiers of our knowledge of the human body.  The exhibition centers on the seminal work of scientists, artists and doctors (many of whom were members or affiliates of the school) between the founding of PAFA as the nation’s first art school in 1805 and the end of WWI (1918).  It looks at, for example, the tie between the academy and early French and Italian art academics, Professor Eakin's studies and artistic interpretations of motion photography and sophisticated medical technologies of the era, and new compositions of figurative forms by artists such as Marcel Duchamp.  Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, No.2 (1912) displayed prominently side by side with Thomas Eakin’s Gross Clinic, for example, shattered the human figure.  The exhibition runs from 1/29 – 4/17.  

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