`Fountain' Most Influential Piece of Modern Art
Jury, Louise, The Independent (London, England)
IT WAS A sculpture that tore through the very notion of art and shook the cultural establishment to its foundations.
Now, 87 years after he created it, Marcel Duchamp's white urinal, Fountain, was named yesterday as the most influential piece of modern art in a survey of leading figures of the art world.
With one simple act - taking an everyday object, signing it, naming it and proclaiming it a work of art - Duchamp ripped up all received notions and paved the way for artists such as Tracey Emin to present her unmade bed and Damien Hirst to unveil his shark.
In a poll conducted for Gordon's Gin as sponsors of this year's Turner Prize, a large majority of the leading artists, dealers, critics and curators named it as the work of art that has had the most impact on art today.
The 1917 original is now lost, although a replica is on view at Tate Modern, which also owns the third most influential work on the list - the Marilyn Monroe diptych by Andy Warhol, one of the famous screenprint paintings he made after the actress's death in 1962.
In second place was Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, which has been long regarded by many as the first great piece of modern art and might have been expected to top the poll.
Picasso's astonishing indictment of war, Guernica, was also named, as was Henri Matisse's The Red Studio, in which he developed the idea of art being about pure colour in its own right. …
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Publication information: Article title: `Fountain' Most Influential Piece of Modern Art. Contributors: Jury, Louise - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: December 2, 2004. Page number: 17. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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