Tate Modern Talk

Why Duchamp, Why Now?

Richard Hamilton, ‘Marcel Duchamp’ 1967
Richard Hamilton, Marcel Duchamp 1967. Tate. © The estate of Richard Hamilton

Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) is widely seen as the most influential artist of the 20th century, revolutionising how we look at and think about art. 

Join Duchamp scholar Thomas Girst for a conversation with an art historian Dawn Ades, as they explore Duchamp’s life and legacy – from his fascination with alchemy, chess and cheese to his views on the art market and eroticism. 

How do his ideas and attitudes continue to shape the art world, and what is it that makes Duchamp such an iconic figure for contemporary artists? Duchamp’s iconoclasm of a hundred years ago has arrived at the centre of 20th-century art history. What then, are the subversive strategies of today? This discussion focuses on Duchamp and how scholarship and artists approach him today.

This event coincides with the UK launch of Thomas Girst's The Duchamp Dictionary published by Thames and Hudson

The event will be followed by an opportunity to purchase books by both speakers and have them signed by the authors in the Starr Foyer from 20.00-20.20.

Dawn Ades

Professor Dawn Ades is a renowned art historian who has curated some of the most important international exhibitions on dada and surrealism and on Art in Latin America. She was Associate Curator of Manifesta 9 and most recently co-curated the Hannah Höch exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery, London. Dawn Ades’s Collected Writings will be published shortly by Ridinghouse, London.

Thomas Girst 

Thomas Girst has written extensively on modern and contemporary art and was founding editor of Tout-Fait: The Marcel Duchamp Studies Online Journal, author of The Indefinite Duchamp and The Duchamp Dictionary. He curated Marcel Duchamp in Munich 1912 at the Lenbachhaus, Munich (2012). He has been Head of Cultural Engagement at the BMW Group since 2003. 

Tate Modern

Starr Cinema

London SE1 9TG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

9 April 2014 at 18.30–20.00

Find out more

  • Tate Modern

    Richard Hamilton

    13 Feb – 26 May 2014
    Tate Modern presents the first retrospective of a founding figure of pop art Richard Hamilton in February 2014
  • Artist

    Marcel Duchamp