Marcel Duchamp - Étant Donnés (1966)
Photo by Denise Brown in the Eleventh Street Studio, 1968. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives.
Marcel Duchamp’s final masterpiece Étant Donnés at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is an art historical conundrum, inviting speculation, adoration, revulsion and religious pilgrimages, sometimes all of these reactions at once. The peephole installation, which permanently resides in the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a reclining nude, legs splayed for a nearly full-Monty view, the figure nestled on foliage in a 2- and 3-D landscape diorama with a mechanized waterfall. Not surprisingly, it invites comparison not just to Dejeuner sur L’herbe and all the other art historical nudes, but also to an inflatable sex doll!