Marcel Duchamp - Editions & Works on Paper New York Monday, October 24, 2022 | Phillips

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  • ...Several years later in Paris, he decided to try what he called a ‘direct contact’ with the people. He had just completed twelve Rotoreliefs, optical discs which when placed on the turntable of a phonograph produced the illusion of motion in perspective. He rented a tiny stand among the inventions at the Concours Lépine, near the Porte de Versailles, and waited for the crowds to arrive. I had to go and see that. All the discs were turning around him at the same time, some horizontally, others vertically, a regular carnival…but I must say that his little stand went strikingly unnoticed.


    None of the visitors, hot on the trail of the useful, could be diverted long enough to stop there. A glance was sufficient to see that between the garbage compressing machine and the incinerators on the left, and the instant vegetable chopper on the right, this gadget of his simply wasn’t useful. 


    When I went up to him, Duchamp smiled and said, ‘Error, one hundred percent. At least, it’s clear.’ 


    These Rotoreliefs have since become collectors’ items.


    Robert Lebel, Marcel Duchamp, 1959, pp. 84-85 



    • Provenance

      Alan Gallery, New York
      Henry Geldzahler, New York
      Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Isenburger, New Jersey
      Richard Q. Praeger, Transition Books, San Francisco
      By descent to the present owner

    • Exhibited

      The Pasadena Art Museum, Marcel Duchamp Retrospective, October 8 - November 3, 1963, No. 78 (this example, label on the underside)

    • Literature

      Arturo Schwarz 441c

    • Catalogue Essay

      Including: disks Corolles/Lampe; Oeuf à la coque/Lanterne chinoise; Poisson japonais/Escargot; Verre de Bohême/Cerceaux; Montgolfière/Cage and Eclipse totale/Spirale blanche.


Rotoreliefs (Optical Disks) (S. 441c)

The complete set of 12 offset lithographs in colors, on six double-sided round card disks, all contained in the original round, black plastic with two magnetized and foam frames in different widths, to be viewed as they rotate at 33 1/3 revolutions per minute on the velvet-covered wall-mounted turntable designed by Duchamp.
all disks diameter 8 in. (20.3 cm)
turntable 14 1/2 x 14 1/2 x 4 1/8 in. (36.8 x 36.8 x 10.5 cm)

All disks signed with initials in blue ink on one side, also signed, titled, dated and numbered 'I' on the underside of the turntable, one of at least 14 sets in Roman numerals hand-assembled by the artist and his wife Alexina in New York (disks taken from the 1953 production used in future editions: there was also a 1959 edition using 100 disks published by Editions MAT, Paris, and a 1965 edition of 150 published by Galleria Schwarz, Milan), this work has been confirmed by the Association Marcel Duchamp and a certificate of authenticity will be issued to the purchaser from the Association.

Full Cataloguing

$25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for $31,500

Contact Specialist

212 940 1220

Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 24 - 26 October 2022