Marcel Duchamp

Bicycle Wheel

1913, 6th version 1964
Duchamp called into question what defines a work of art by modifying or repositioning select fabricated objects. This is his first readymade, with which he produced a “machine” that does not work. By creating art out of manufactured items, the artist rejected established notions of aesthetic value and the process of creativity. Reflecting on his readymades in 1968, he said: “They look trivial, but they’re not. On the contrary, they represent a much higher degree of intellectuality.”
Title
Bicycle Wheel
Date
1913, 6th version 1964
Medium
Sculpture
Materials
bicycle fork with wheel mounted on painted wooden stool
Dimensions
126 x 64 x 31.5 cm overall; stool: 53 x 31.5 x 31.5 cm; wheel: 74 x 64 x 14.5 cm
Nationality
French
Credit line
Purchased 1971
Accession number
29947