Notes and Projects for the Large GlassDUCHAMP, Marcel
Selected, ordered, and with an introduction by Arturo Schwarz. Translated by George H. Hamilton, Cleve Gray and Arturo Schwarz
London: Thames and Hudson. 1969.
Folio. 421x250mm. pp. [vi], 217. White cloth, lettered in red to upper cover and spine. Transparent plastic wrapper illustrated with the "Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even" (The Large Glass). The wrapper is chipped at head and foot of spine and the rear has been torn and repaired with tape. However, it is rare to find the plastic wrapper in pristine condition. Internally in very good condition. The book consists of facsimiles of Duchamp's extensive notes for The Large Glass on the recto of each leaf with the English translation on the verso of the previous page opposite so that the reader can follow the notes and translation side by side. There is an introduction and a short essay on "The Mechanics of the Large Glass", both by Arturo Schwarz. The Large Glass is an extraordinary work of proto-conceptual art, conceived originally as a painting but during the mental creative process, Duchamp saw it as a new form of highly symbolic non-representational sculpture. Accordingly, it marks an important step in the movement from painting to the ready made. This is art conceived initially in verbal, intellectual form with the finished physical object being of almost secondary significance. When Duchamp started to collect his notes together he created what he called The Green Box. This was a small container (a green box) into which he placed the sheets of paper setting out his notes on the conception, meanings and the elements that were to form The Large Glass. They have been ordered and collated for the present book although Duchamp intended no particular order for them. The work was created in a physical sculptural form using wire, foil, dust and glass and is in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. When it first arrived at the museum and was unpacked, it became apparent that the glass had shattered in transit. Duchamp, who was present at the unpacking, immediately declared the shattered glass meant that the work was complete. The Large Glass is still on display with the cracked glass.