Prière de Toucher [Please Touch] (Cover of the Exhibition Catalogue 'Le Surréalism en 1947')
© Succession Marcel Duchamp/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2010

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Prière de Toucher [Please Touch] (Cover of the Exhibition Catalogue 'Le Surréalism en 1947') 1947

On Display Modern Two

This work was conceived as the cover for the catalogue of a surrealist exhibition held in Paris in 1947. The exhibition, organised by André Breton and Duchamp, was to mark the return of Surrealism as a force in Europe after the war. Produced in an edition of 999 de-luxe copies, the cover of the book has a breast made of foam rubber. Duchamp originally tried to cast the left breast of the artist Maria Martins, but this proved too complicated. So, with characteristic ingenuity, Duchamp bought 999 false breasts and got his friend, the artist Enrico Donati, to help him glue them to the book-covers and hand-colour the nipples. The breast sits on a velvet backing, attached to the pink cover. The book features original prints by Tanguy, Tanning, Brauner, Ernst, Miró, Bellmer, Arp and others.

Glossary Open

Cast

The production of a sculpture by use of a mould to make a copy, usually in a more durable material, of the original work. The term is used to describe both the process and the resulting object.

Print

An image pressed or stamped onto paper or fabric. This encompasses a wide variety of techniques, usually produced in multiples, although one-off prints, known as monoprints, are also included. The term is also applied to photographic images.

Surrealism

A literary and artistic movement founded by the poet André Breton in 1924. Many of the associated artists, such as Max Ernst and Jean Arp, had previously been involved with Dadaism. The movement sought to challenge conventions through the exploration of the subconscious mind, invoking the power of dreams and elements of chance. Cultural hierarchies were challenged by the combination of diverse elements in collages and sculptural assemblages. The movement is also notable for the collaborations between artists and writers evident in the Surrealists' many publications.

Cast, Print, Surrealism

Details

  • Acc. No. GMA A33/3/DSL/019
  • Medium Exhibition catalogue. Publication place: Paris. Publisher: Maeght. Edition: 999
  • Size 24.00 x 20.50 x 4.00 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1999