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Home » Glossary » Fountain

“Fountain” is arguably Marcel Duchamp’s most famous and controversial work of art. Created in 1917, it consists of a porcelain urinal, which Duchamp signed with a pseudonym “R. Mutt” and submitted to an art exhibition in New York.

The work challenged traditional notions of what could be considered art, and sparked a debate about the role of the artist and the value of art. The piece was rejected by the exhibition jury, but Duchamp and his supporters argued that it was a legitimate work of art, and that its rejection was an example of the conservative and elitist attitudes of the art world.

“Fountain” has since become an icon of modern art, and is widely regarded as a pioneering work of conceptual art. It has been interpreted in a variety of ways, as a critique of the art establishment, a comment on the nature of art, and a subversive and irreverent gesture.

Although the original “Fountain” was lost, several replicas and copies have been made, and the work continues to be influential and controversial to this day.