By Christopher Reed
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Extra resources for Art and Homosexuality: A History of Ideas
Within the postwar years, while she resumed her occupation as a painter, she disregarded her prior paintings as unimportant, and deserted representation for oil portray in summary kinds. Mammen’s unﬁnished sequence of illustrations of contemporary lesbian existence continues to be a testomony to the stumbling blocks artists confronted in forthrightly representing homosexuality. The artists for whom the dynamic of the open mystery labored most sensible, after all, have been those that weren't gay and accordingly may extra freely make the most signiﬁers of sexual deviance to impress their audiences. This dynamic is apparent within the occupation of Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968). Duchamp is legendary for his “Assisted Readymades”: came across items manipulated or replaced (“assisted”) after which exhibited as artwork. those works are relevant to paintings AND HOMOSEXUALITY the improvement of the avant-garde—a panel of art-world insiders lately ranked Duchamp’s Fountain (1917) because the so much inﬂuential paintings of twentieth-century art—and for that reason were nearly forever analyzed and debated. reviews of Duchamp’s non-art artistic endeavors middle on problems with aesthetics and originality, even though, hardly ever noting how his Assisted Readymades continually trace at homosexuality to intensify their transgressive cost. Fountain, a urinal grew to become on its part, basically increases the opportunity of ﬁnding aesthetic excitement in public bathrooms and male urination. one other recognized paintings, his L. H. O. O. Q. (1919), is a duplicate of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa with a drawn-on mustache, beard, and bawdy identify: the sound of the letters in French might be understood as “elle a chaud au cul,” a colloquial expression that interprets approximately as “she’s acquired a scorching ass. ” whereas this may be interpreted as heterosexual grafﬁti, Duchamp selected for this snapshot (an aroused and/or arousing mustachioed androgyne) a ﬁgure doubly linked to the heritage of homosexuality. The mysterious Mona Lisa interested Aesthetic and Decadent writers, whereas Leonardo used to be Freud’s well-known paradigm of the artist as gay (discussed in bankruptcy 2), a precedent Duchamp stated. Duchamp prolonged his play with transvestism and androgyny by means of himself adopting the female pseudonym Rrose Sélavy, a pun at the sentiment “eros c’est l. a. vie” (eros is existence) with echoes of Gertrude Stein’s catchphrase “a rose is a rose is a rose. ” Duchamp used this feminine identify to signal numerous of his writings and Assisted Readymades, and two times had himself photographed in drag as Rrose Sélavy in 1921, whilst cross-dressing was once strongly linked to gay nightclubs. those pictures seemed either separately and integrated into Duchamp’s paintings. One graced a label Duchamp made for a bottle of “Eau de Voilette,” a wordplay on perfumed “violet water” that reverses the vowels to intend “veil water,” with the entire institutions of overlaying that veils suggest (Figure four. 27). a photo of Duchamp’s “Eau de Voilette” seemed at the disguise of the avant-garde paintings journal that satirized Hartley as a “pug deb. ” This juxtaposition exempliﬁes either the centrality and the complexity of the “open mystery” dynamic in avant-garde paintings.