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Objects and Absences: Duchamp, Dalí and Whiteread



Tuesday 17th October



at 9:45 am

in Knightsbridge.

Price Member (please login) Free




17th October 2017

9:45 am – Welcome coffee

10:00 am sharp – Talk

12:00 pm – End



The Bulgari Hotel

171, Knightsbridge

London SW7 1DW



Please note the event will be filmed.

All three of our artists today have attempted something completely and utterly new. Duchamp, initially inspired by the complexity of cubism and the driving energy of futurism, tried to change the art world by exhibiting objects he hadn’t made and in so doing, created a new form of art as a result – the “readymade”. Dalí changed our expectations in different ways, by subverting our perception through unlikely confrontations of form – but like Duchamp, he invited us to see familiar objects in different ways. Rachel Whiteread, on the other hand, is effectively the opposite of Duchamp. Rather than presenting us with readymade objects, she shows us forgotten spaces, voids we never see and would not consider, giving life to the gaps behind books and under the bath, and creating echoes of uninhabited rooms. She reminds us of the power of the objects we do not see and leads us to imagine the lives of those now gone. The first two artists are brought together this autumn in an unexpected and groundbreaking exhibition at the Royal Academy, whist the third will be enjoying a major retrospective at Tate Britain. When considered together they will help us to consider what is – or for that matter isn’t – necessary to make a work of art.



London Art Studies (LAS) launched in November, 2011 and provides a look at the most talked-about exhibitions on the London gallery scene. It’s the insider’s guide to the art on view in London. Each term we select the museum or gallery shows we think people will be talking about, and lecturers will discuss the background to the art and point out highlights not to be missed when seeing the exhibition itself.



Having read Natural Sciences and History of Art at Cambridge, Dr Richard Stemp went on to complete a PhD in Sculpture in Ferrara in the 15th Century before studying acting at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts. Richard works as a Freelance Lecturer, and has taught at most of the major art museums in London. He has written and presented two series for Channel 4, Art in the National Gallery and Tate Modern, and his books include The Secret Language of the Renaissance and Directions in Art: Painting, one in a series about contemporary art for children.