Specific Object in conjunction with Susan Inglett Gallery was pleased to present an exhibition featuring Marcel Duchamp's Boîte-en-valise, Series A, Number O/XX for Kay Boyle
. The work was on display from April 22 to May 22, 2004.
Beginning in 1936, after declaring an end to his art making, Duchamp began a life long project producing editioned, boxed, stylized facsimiles of his oeuvre, which he dubbed de or par Marcel Duchamp ou Rrose Sélavy
. More than mere reproductions of his now famous works, the Boîte became a three-dimensional, miniature, personal museum for Duchamp's output from 1910 through 1940. Perhaps an intimate traveling companion for the itinerant traveler, the Boîte defined how the artist critically viewed his own output, and contextualized how he wished others to do so in providing a self referential, hermetic, compendium of sixty-nine of his works.
In seven distinct series, lettered A through G and issued between 1941 and 1968, nearly 300 Boite were produced. However, only Series A is formally know as the Boîte-en-valise
- or Box in a Valise
titled for the leather suitcase that encompasses the Boîte. Only twenty-four of this edition were produced each made by hand by Duchamp, each of which incorporates a unique work made specifically for the original purchaser.
The work featured in this exhibition was numbered O/XX, inscribed for Kay Boyle in 1943, and was shown within many of Duchamp's most important exhibitions, including his 1963 retrospective at the Pasadena Museum of Art; Not Seen and/or Less Seen from or by Marcel Duchamp or Rrose SZlavy
, at the Cordier & Ekstrom Gallery, New York, 1965; and Duchamp's retrospective at the Tate Gallery London in 1966 before becoming "lost." This particular work features a unique hand-colored work by Duchamp based on the lower half of Duchamp's Grand Verre
[aka: Large Glass
] now in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Now "found" the O/XX Kay Boyle represents one of the very few examples of the Boîte-en-valise
in private hands today.