Press Release

Exhibition Presents 50 Contemporary Artists Engaging with Marcel Duchamp's Legacy

Saratoga Springs, NY
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Rose Ocean: Living with Duchamp explores the conceptual artist's oeuvre through an inventive exhibition design created by architecture students  

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY (February 13, 2018) — A new exhibition focusing on the legacy of Marcel Duchamp in contemporary art will debut at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College. Rose Ocean: Living with Duchamp, on view from February 17 through May 20, 2018, revisits the 2003 Tang Teaching Museum exhibition Living with Duchamp and features more than 50 artists whose conceptual and irreverent works engage with Duchamp’s oeuvre. 

The artists in the exhibition play with notions of construction and improvisation to question our interpretation of the world through systems of language, knowledge, objects, and information. They engage with gender and alter egos, and tease out power relationships in art and art history. On the artists, Dayton Director Ian Berry said, “You’ll see work by Mike Bidlo, David Hammons, Amy Podmore, and Millie Wilson, who are responding directly to Duchamp, alongside artists like Sheila Metzner and Anya Kielar, whose links to Duchamp can be seen through the context of the exhibition.” Many works in the project are from the Tang’s collection and will be on view for the first time, including Millie Wilson’s Lace Curtain Window and Michael St. John’s Lamppost, Lost, Missing, Moving. New work by Amy Podmore and Jonathan Seliger join works by Matthew Antezzo, Ray Johnson, and Douglas Vogel that were included in the 2003 exhibition.

Duchamp extended his provocations in the art world to exhibition-making, by designing installations that countered the white walls and rectilinear spaces of modernist galleries. In this Duchampian spirit, Rose Ocean was designed in collaboration with students from Associate Professor Michael Oatman’s “Duchamp Seminar/Exhibition Studio” at the School of Architecture at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. “Over the course of two semesters, my students took inspiration from Duchamp’s long career of exhibition design to develop the installation of Rose Ocean,” Oatman said. “Duchamp’s legacy is something all creative thinkers must contend with. Marcel was the perfect guide for young designers trying to find their voices. My students have applied their critical design skills learned at RPI to explore Duchamp’s interrogations of how art is presented.”

Full list of artists in the exhibition: Matthew Antezzo, Diane Arbus, Robert Arneson, Matthew Barney, Alan Belcher, Zeke Berman, Mike Bidlo, Michael Brown, Carter, Andy Coolquitt, Stephen Dean, Marcel Duchamp, Louis Féron, Martha Friedman, Jan Galligan, Robert Gober, Kathy Grove, David Hammons, Tim Hawkinson, Julian Hoeber, General Idea, Ray Johnson, Matt Keegan, Martin Kersels, André Kertesz, Anya Kielar, Rachel Lachowicz, Marko Lehanka, Sophie Matisse, Allan McCollum, Sheila Metzner, Jonathan Monk, Yasumasa Morimura, John Newman, Michael Oatman, Zachary Pearson, Richard Pettibone, Francis Picabia, Amy Podmore, Man Ray, David Robbins, Naomi Savage, Jonathan Seliger, Jana Sterbak, Michael St. John, Vibeke Tandberg, Johannes VanDerBeek, Douglas Vogel, Andy Warhol, Julian Wasser, Ai Weiwei, Millie Wilson

The opening reception for Rose Ocean: Living with Duchamp will be at 5:00 p.m. Saturday, February 17. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, call the Tang Visitors Services Desk at 518-580-8080 or visit

About the title

The title of the exhibition—Rose Ocean: Living with Duchamp—is a double Duchampian echo. The Living with Duchamp part echoes the 2003 Tang exhibition Living with Duchamp. The Rose Ocean is another story. Christopher Muscari, a student in Michael Oatman’s RPI class, discovered a quote by Duchamp that says, “Can one make works that are not works of art?” In a Dada twist, Muscari took the letters from that quote and came up with a string of other words to form a possible title, “The ten karat krown at rose ocean.” From that, came the title “Rose Ocean.” Like one of Duchamp’s “assisted ready-mades,” the title plays off words derived from a Duchamp quote that was there, ready to be used.

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