Art and Intention Art101 Week 2 Checkpoint

Topics: Cubism, History of painting, Painting Pages: 1 (266 words) Published: February 3, 2012
To the general public, both Michelangelo’s David and Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, shock was the initial response. The statue of David depicts a nude man which was much less acceptable at that time than in recent days. Other negative reactions were brought on by its political significance. Duchamp’s painting also raised shock in its viewers. The painting was meant to portray a nude woman as she ascended a staircase although it looked like anything but. This caused the public to feel mocked by the artist because they could not find an actual woman in the painting. Contemporary viewers found David’s nudity to be offensive which brought on many attempts at vandalism towards it. Additionally, contemporary viewers found Duchamp’s painting to be deceiving and confusing because the painting did not look at all like it’s title. Duchamp used a combination of futurism, cubism, and an influence by other artists to attempt this attempt to show the human form in many different positions and angles simultaneously. Instead of using a series of shots like the artists he gathered inspiration from, he overlapped the images. This painting was the product of that idea combined with his cubist and futurist influence. This painting certainly does make one want to study it to find some semblance of what it infers. I admit that I looked for quite some time to try to wrap my head around its meaning and content. I have seen this painting before I knew his inspiration and did not give it much more than a second glance, considering it messy.
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