The Bride and the Bachelors

An experimental exhibition that reveals the dynamic influence of Marcel Duchamp on the American avant-garde.

Word games, chance, paradoxes and contradictions, the artist Marcel Duchamp is considered the godfather of conceptual art. This exhibition looks at how his innovations inspired a generation of Americans, and in particular those modern masters who became the heavy hitters of the American avant-garde. Their revolutionary interpretations of his work resulted in a seismic shift in the direction of art in the 1950s.

Composer John Cage and the choreographer Merce Cunningham embraced Duchamp’s concepts of chance in dance and music. Painters Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg incorporated the artist’s Dadaist spirit, becoming the leading figures of Abstract American art and the forerunners of Pop art

The exhibition is curated by the French artist Phillippe Parreno and offers a radical interpretation of each artist's work. 

Don't miss

Parreno’s reading of John Cage’s seminal work 4’33”, and performances of Cage's other compositions shown together with the ghostly sound of dance steps in an empty space.

Also on show are readymades by Duchamp, in particular his Bicycle Wheel made in 1913 and the infamous Fountain, 1917, the signed urinal that blurred the boundaries between life and art, and transformed the way we think about art ever since.

Venue details

Barbican Art Gallery Level 3, Barbican Centre, Silk Street London EC2Y 8DS 020 7638 8891

Entry details

Reduced price entry with National Art Pass

£7 online or £8 on the door (standard entry charge is £12)

Fri – Tue, 11am – 8pm
Wed, 11am – 6pm
Thu, 11am – 10pm

Book online:

or call: 020 7638 8891