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Nude Descending A Staircase initially met with an unfavorable response at the Salon des Indépendants, dominated by the Cubist avant-garde who objected to what they deemed as its Futurist leanings, but enjoyed a succes de scandale at the 1913 Armory Show in New York.More than a study of the body's movement through space, the work is an early figurative exercise in painting cinematically, akin to Eadweard Muybridge's sequences of photographs that anticipated motion pictures.Coined by Duchamp, the term "readymade" came to designate mass-produced everyday objects taken out of their usual context and promoted to the status of artworks by the mere choice of the artist.
Duchamp has had an immense impact on twentieth-century and twenty first-century art, and he had a seminal influence on the development of conceptual art.
By World War I, he had rejected the work of many of his fellow artists (such as Henri Matisse) as "retinal" art, intended only to please the eye.
Duchamp frequently resorted to puns and double-meanings in his work.
With The Large Glass, he sought to make an artwork that could be both visually experienced and "read" as a text.
A taste for jokes, tongue-in-cheek wit and subversive humor, rife with sexual innuendoes, characterizes Duchamp's work and makes for much of its enjoyment.
He fashioned puns out of everyday expressions which he conveyed through visual means.
The constructed gadgetry featured between the two glass panels was also likely inspired by Duchamp's study of mathematician Henri Poincare's physics theorems.
Duchamp is commonly regarded, along with Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, as one of the three artists who helped to define the revolutionary developments in the plastic arts in the opening decades of the 20th century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture.
For the next eight years, he was locked into an educational regime which focused on intellectual development.
Though he was not an outstanding student, his best subject was mathematics and he won two mathematics prizes at the school.