PRINT April 1998


Arturo Schwarz

ARTURO SCHWARZ CAN be happy. His relation to Marcel Duchamp has by now become a permanent part of the artist’s story. His own account of Duchamp’s life and work, which made its initial appearance with the first edition of this book in 1969, is another, much more controversial, less joyous matter, but Schwarz has already received his criticism, wears it as a badge, and grandly, even proudly, gives us virtually the same account again. Anyone who cares at all about Duchamp’s work will be happy, too, for the appearance of the new edition of his long-out-of-print Duchamp catalogue raisonné. Expanded and revised, it is in many ways an extremely beautiful book. Who would not be happy to own it? But is happiness a matter of ownership? This catalogue raisonné goes far beyond most in that it harbors nests of parables and a host of moral tales.

As a very young man (he was fifteen), Schwarz had gone

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