u003cbu003eAn engaging and accessible introduction to one of the 20th century's greatest and most enigmatic artistsu003c/bu003eu003cbru003e u003cbru003e This richly illustrated publication explores the full career of the hugely influential and endlessly fascinating French-American artist Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968). A pioneer whose creative output was predicated on a fundamental questioning of what art is, Duchamp is well known despite remaining mysterious as an artist, owing to his elusive persona and the unconventional nature of his work. u003cbru003e u003cbru003e Focusing on the world-renowned Duchamp collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, u003ciu003eThe Essential Duchampu003c/iu003e tells the artist's story through four key periods. The book begins with his early paintings and engagement with the avant-garde, then charts his abandonment of painting and invention of the readymade. This is followed by the creation of his alter ego Rrose Sélavy and the optical experiments of the interwar years, and, finally, by the making of u003ciu003eÉtant donnésu003c/iu003e (1946-66), the project that occupied the artist in the final two decades of his life. Shorter accompanying texts include explanations of key terms Duchamp used for his innovative ideas--u003ciu003ereadymadeu003c/iu003e, u003ciu003eprecision opticsu003c/iu003e, u003ciu003epictorial nominalismu003c/iu003e, and u003ciu003einfrathinu003c/iu003e--as well as interviews and statements by the artist about his own art and ideas.