04 February, 2009
Marcel Duchamp was a French artist whose work is most often associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. Duchamp's output influenced the development of post-World War I Western art. He advised modern art collectors, such as Peggy Guggenheim and other prominent figures, thereby helping to shape the tastes of Western art during this period.
Marcel Duchamp was born in Blainville-Crevon Seine-Maritime in the Haute-Normandie region of France, and grew up in a family that enjoyed cultural activities. The art of painter and engraver Emile Nicolle, his maternal grandfather, filled the house, and the family liked to play chess, read books, paint and make music together.
A playful man, Duchamp challenged conventional thought about artistic processes and art marketing, not so much by writing, but through subversive actions such as dubbing a urinal "art" and naming it Fountain. He produced relatively few artworks, while moving quickly through the avant-garde circles of his time.
Marcel Duchamp died on October 2, 1968 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, and is buried in the Rouen Cemetery, in Rouen, France. His grave bears the epitaph, "D'ailleurs, c'est toujours les autres qui meurent;" or "Besides, it's always other people who die."