Marcel Duchamp - Editions & Works on Paper New York Thursday, June 27, 2024 | Phillips
  • “...Several years later in Paris, [Duchamp] 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 



    • Literature

      Arturo Schwarz 441a

    • 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. 441a)

The complete set of 12 offset lithographs in colors, on six double-sided round card disks, accompanied by the original black plastic circular holder and viewer and cardboard collapsible sleeve with instructions.
all disks diameter 8 in. (20.3 cm)
From the edition of 1000 published in 1953 (there were also editions of various sizes published in 1935, 1959, 1963 and 1965).

Full Cataloguing

$5,000 - 7,000 

Sold for $7,620

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Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 27 June 2024