Marcel Duchamp


Marcel Duchamp Essay, Research Paper

Marcel Ducamp and the Red Nude The piece that I chose as my subject for this essay is titled Red Nude. This painting was done in oil on canvas. The name of the artist who painted this piece is Marcel Duchamp. In the next few paragraphs I will be doing the following: giving a description of the painting and doing an aesthetic analysis which includes interpretation and evaluation.This painting which was done by Marcel Duchamp is exactly what it states in the title. It is a red nude. This is a painting of a woman done in reds; she is sitting profile on what appears to be a table. The woman is leaning on one leg. The leg that she is leaning on is bent up toward her chest making her stomach have many creases. The other leg is tucked under so you can see the bottom of one foot. There is a painting of some sort in the background. There is a back of a chair sticking up behind the table. This painting is done in reds; the tabletop she is seated on is done in green and blue. The back of the chair that is situated behind the figure is burnt sienna. The painting on the wall behind the figure is framed in burnt sienna. The wall behind her looks like yellow oaker. Every thing except for the nude s hair is outlined in a blue-black. The elements and principles that I feel are important to discuss concerning this piece are color, space, texture, line, focal point, movement, and subordinate area. I will start by discussing color because; I feel that it sets the mood for this piece. This painting has lots of warm colors such as various tints of red. The figure is primarily done in all reds with the exception of the blue-black outline around the figure. The muscle and fat are done in reds. The reds make me feel warm because they are warm colors. It makes me feel like this woman is hot. Her cheek is very red, almost a bright red, this makes me feel as if she has a fever or is over heating because often when people get hot there cheeks will turn red. The warm colors and the dark out line make her look heavy like she is exhausted. The greens and blues seem fuzzy because of the application of paint. The chair behind the table is done in burnt sienna which adds warmth to the piece it also makes the chair look like it wants to come forward but the table in front of it doesn t let it. The lightness of the picture on the wall behind the figure is almost the same pinkish reds as the lightest value of the skin of the nude but instead of coming forward it looks like it is sitting comfortable in the back. The reds and the greens are complementary and that gives the piece a nice contrast. Without the green I think I would feel uncomfortable hot looking at this piece. The green and the blue cool the painting down just enough to not feel like you re going to be sick looking at it. I think it works quite nicely. The space in this piece seems very confined; there isn t much room in the painting. It seems almost like everything is trying to close in on the nude. The darkness of the table adds some space but not enough for comfort. I feel like the wall and the chair are trying so desperately to come forward. There is no deep space in this piece it seems very limited because all of the colors are so close in value. The figure comes out at you but it seems like the wall is following right behind her.

The texture of the painting is tactile it is the application of paint. The brush strokes are very prominent. The brush stroke on the table seems to have more texture than it actually does. The green and blue brush strokes seem to be bouncing around all over the table it gave me a fuzzy feeling. The paint is thick but the colors jump out at you in such a way that you feel it is giving you more texture than there actually is. The figure is the least tactile part of the piece; it is soft compared to every thing else in the piece. The wall, the picture on the wall and the back of the chair are all very tactile. They all have a very broken brush stroke. They all look very thick and clumpy. The use of line in this piece is only the outlining of the figures. The use of line helps distinguish where one thing ends and the other begins. The line also gives a flat feeling when you look directly at it but when you move your eye further in toward the nude she begins to become three dimensional. It gives me an odd feeling like it should be flat but it isn t. The darkness of the outline makes everything feel heavy, like there is lots of stress or weight present. The focal point of this piece is the nude. She stands out because she is done in reds and the come out rather than going back. To be exact the focal point is the lady s thigh because it sticks out the most.The movement of this piece begins with the lady s thigh. My eyes follow her leg down to her foot then back up the other leg to her torso. My eye then follows up her arm. Then I noticed the subordinate area. I noticed the table she is sitting on then, my eyes followed up to the back of the chair then to the wall behind her and then up to the picture in the top left hand corner of the painting. The picture was the last thing I noticed. I feel this painting flows very nicely. All of the colors flow together and make the piece very nice to look at.The subordinate area is important. It is so small and squished compared to the figure. This gives me an uneasy feeling that adds to the mood of the piece. The subordinate area adds to the mood of the painting in the sense that the lady is warm and she is being squished by everything around her. Like everything in her life is closing in on her. The subordinate area is very flat but the colors don t go back far enough to give the nude room to breathe.The red nude was a very interesting piece. Overall I think this is a very hot, squished piece. The lady seems stuck or very hot and everything is closing in on her! Leann j Mudry

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