Kant After Duchamp
Kant after Duchamp brings together eight essays around a central thesis with many implications for the history of avant-gardes. Although Duchamp's ready mades broke with all previously known styles, de Duve observes that he made the logic of modernist art practice the subject matter of his work, a shift in aesthetic judgment that replaced the classical "this is beautiful" with "this is art." De Duve employs this shift (replacing the word "beauty" by the word "art") in a rereading of Kant's Critique of Judgment that reveals the hidden links between the radical experiments of Duchamp and the Dadaists and mainstream pictorial modernism.
Thierry de Duve is Director of Studies, Association de préfiguration de l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris.