Marcel Duchamp

Marvin Lazarus (1918–1982)
Gelatin silver print, 1962

Roberta Fast Lazarus

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Marvin Lazarus took this photograph at the Museum of Modern Art on the final day of the “The Art of Assemblage” exhibition in 1961. The exhibition included thirteen of Duchamp’s works. Lazarus’s image captures Duchamp with his artwork: he stands framed within the spokes of his Bicycle Wheel, gazing up at his last painting, Tu m’, with one arm familiarly tossed around the shoulder of his Fountain.

Duchamp’s inscription, playing off of the visual pun of the bicycle spokes, translates, “In my prison, by Lazarus the jailer. Affectionately, Marcel Duchamp, 1962.” Lazarus continued to photograph Duchamp, and in 1963 he exhibited his series at the East Hampton Gallery in “The Many Faces of Marcel Duchamp.”

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Listen to co-curator James McManus discuss this image: