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Marcel Duchamp, Henri-Pierre Roché, Beatrice Wood & Dawn Ades – THREE NEW YORK DADAS AND THE BLINDMAN

Introduction by Dawn Ades and commentaries by Dawn Ades & Alastair Brotchie, translated by Chris Allen.

The story of the triangular relationship between Marcel Duchamp, Henri-Pierre Roché and Beatrice Wood in New York in 1917 is here related through various texts.The main one being the first English translation of Roché’s “novel” Victor, an account of his friendship with Duchamp (nicknamed Victor by his close friends at that time). Although unfinished, Roché’s text offers a unique first-hand account of New York Dada, all of whose principal characters and events duly make an appearance: Francis Picabia, Arthur Cravan, the Arensbergs and theirsoirées, the Blind Man’s Ball and the scandal of Duchamp’sFountainand its rejection from the Independents exhibition, a pivotal moment in modern art. There are also interesting insights into the sexual politics of the period, when a woman could be arrested, or blackmailed, for spending the night with a man to whom she was not married.

Victor is followed by a complete facsimile of the Dada magazine produced by these three:The Blind Man, the second issue of which was devoted to the controversy surrounding theFountain. Beatrice Wood’s account of these events follows, taken from her memoirs.

Marcel Duchamp needs little introduction, being one of the most influential artists of the last century. Roché, a lifelong friend of his, appears to have been something of a devotee of triangular relationships; he wrote a rather more famous autobiographical novel on the topic, Jules et Jim, which became an emblematic film by François Truffaut. Wood went on to become a celebrated ceramicist, dying in 1998, aged 105.

Published: Atlas Press, 2013,

ISBN: 978-1-900565-43-9

Pages: 176pp

Type: hardback with decorated endpapers, illustrated in b+w.