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This compartmentalization results in a tense play of castrated desire and sexual frustration—an interminable drama acted by gendered mechanical forms, drawing upon early twentieth century anxieties about the consequences of increased industrialization. The work consists of oil paint, lead foil, lead wire, varnish, and dust, and is currently housed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where it has stood since , enclosed within glass casing framed by metal atop a wooden support. Museum in , the fragile panels of The Large Glass were shattered in transit. This element of chance, coupled with the effect of viewing a vertical and transparent plane, fosters a highly interactive experience on behalf of the viewer, who is free to engage with The Large Glass through a glass darkly , in its environment of light- play and obscurity, opacity and reflection. Upon first glance—or, realistically, after numerous subsequent glances—The Large Glass fails to present any explicit narrative. Indeed, Duchamp undermined European art historical convention in robbing the viewer of human-based forms, instead presenting a composition of abstracted, mechanized systems. The Large Glass is divided horizontally into two rectangular planes of equal size, one atop the other.
It consists of many geometric shapes melding together to create large mechanical objects, which seem to almost pop out from the glass and ever-changing background.
All forms on the glass are outlined with lead wire and filled in with earth tone oil paint. The colors range from pale grey to gold to dark brown and black. Some figures are bumpy and cloudy, and contain the dust left on them during the time which the unfinished work lay dormant, which seems to be an attempt at capturing the dynamic passage of time in a sedate work.
The Bride is a mechanical, almost insectile, group of monochrome shaded geometric forms located along the left-hand side of the glass. She is connected to her halo, a cloudy form stretching across the top. Its curvilinear outline and grey shading are starkly offset by the three undulating squares of unpainted glass evenly spaced over the central part of the composition.
The Bride's solid, main rectangular form branches out into slender, tentacle-like projections. These include an inverted funnel capped by a half-moon shape, a series of shapes resembling a skull with two misplaced ears, and a long, proboscis-like extension stretching down almost as far as the horizon line between her domain and that of the bachelors. Her top-located domain is almost completely monochrome, with a wash of beige comparable to the cool colors of a cloudy sky.
The Bachelors' Domain centers on the nine "Malic Molds". These dark brown shapes have a central vertical line, some with horizontal ones across them. They resemble the empty carcasses of clothes hanging from a clothesline, much more than they do actual men.
They are interconnected through a spider web of thin lines, tying them to the seven conical cylinders. The cylinders range in color, and move in stages from nearly transparent on the left side, to translucent in the middle, to almost opaque on the far right. The opaque ones have swirling dark brown and gold colors and are almost solid three-dimensional forms, whereas the translucent ones are more ghostly outlines.
They are connected in a line from tip to base and form a half circle. This rainbow-like shape is impaled centrally by a pole which connects them to the "chocolate grinder" at the lower part of the glass, and to the X-shaped rods that dominate the top center of the Bachelors' Domain.
There is a chocolate grinder which consists of three drum-like structures, arranged in even spacing around a circular platform. Marcel Duchamp and The Large Glass. An International Journal of Critical Aesthetics 8 Golding, John. Marcel Duchamp: Viking Press, Gonzalez-Ehrlich, Erika. Henderson, Linda Dalrymple. Krauss, Rosalind. The MIT Press, The Bachelor Machines. Rizzoli, Minor, Vernon Hyde. Semiotics in Art History. Prentice Hall, Naumann, Francis M.. Panofsky, Erwin.
An Introduction to the Study of Renaissance Art. University of Chicago Press, Poussin and the Elegiac Tradition. Thirkell, Paul. Duchamp and Hamilton's Dialogue in Print. Tomkins, Calvin. Sanouillet, Michel and Elmer Peterson, eds.
The Writings of Marcel Duchamp. Da Capo Press, Schwarz, Arturo. Museum of Modern Art, The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp. Harry N. Abrams, Inc. Publishers, Related Papers. Curatorial Review: The Bride and the Bachelors. By Amy Bower. The Large Glass Analyzed. By Derek Dey. By glyn thompson. In his threefold formula for iconographical analysis, Erwin Panofsky insisted on a pre-iconographical description of primary subject matter, followed by an iconographical analysis of identified forms, concluded by an iconological synthesis rooted within literary, visual, and cultural history.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, , Simon Taylor London: MacDonald, , At this level of iconographical interpretation, Breton identifies the ways in which Duchamp had previously expressed concepts and themes through visual systems, subsequently providing a history of his creative development. Marcel Duchamp explored impressions relating mostly to Cubist constructs and his notion of the readymade during the eight-year span of his labor on The Large Glass, and the work consequently emerges as an amalgamation of his contemporaneous sculptures and paintings.
In distancing himself from conventional modes in the creative process, Duchamp wished to emphasize the conceptual value of the art product. Through an analysis of visual information at the iconographic level, Breton is able to determine the identities of the previously mysterious, abstracted forms that comprise The Large Glass through their stylistic antecedents. The gas spangles, after reaching the first sieve in this way, change their condition as they pass through the sieves and emerge as an explosive liquid which crashes down the toboggan or corkscrew of the drainage slopes.
The sieves themselves have been treated to a process of dust raising or dust breeding by which dust has been allowed to fall on them for three or four months, and the surface around them well wiped so that the dust on this part is a kind of transparent color that can be raised several layers thick with aid of varnish. Vicious circle. Round trip for the buffer.
Junk of life. Cheap construction.
Tin, cords, iron wire. Eccentric wooden pulleys. Monotonous fly wheel. This movement if provoked by the regulated fall of four weights in the form of bottles of Benedictine of oscillating density at the end of a chain engaged on the axle of the water mill a sort of waterspout comes from the distance in a half circle over the malic moulds seen from the side.
The movement makes the glider come towards the grinder and at the same time opens the scissors, thus provoking the splash in the region numbered 9 in the illustration. The gravity manager or juggler of centers of gravity who was intended to occupy the areas of the Glass marked 11 in our illustration, would have had his three points of support on the garment of the Bride and so would have had to dance to the will of the attacks being launched by the boxing match taking place beneath him.
The top inscription is supported by a kind of flesh-colored milky way and is obtained, as we have seen, by the three draught pistons, the images of which were produced by registering three successive chance distortions of a square of white cloth flapping in the wind.
It is through this triple form that the commands, orders, authorizations, etc.
Unfortunately, the confines of this discussion are such that the present author cannot breach this argument. By referencing systems of meaning designed within his own oeuvre, Marcel Duchamp involves himself in the autoerotic themes displayed the ejaculative interplay between his envisioned Bride and bachelors.
Bibliography Adcock, Craig E.