description of Fountain by Marcel Duchamp

This sculpture is, in fact, a nondescript white urinal turned on its back. The flat oval back sits atop a pedestal with its scoop-like ceramic bowl pointing straight up. The thick back rim, which has become the base of the sculpture, features two ceramic screw plates and an open ceramic pipe inlet, none of which are currently in use. The only distinguishing feature of this utilitarian plumbing fixture is the crude signature which appears on the left edge in black paint. The artist, Marcel Duchamp, has signed the work ‘R. Mutt 1917’ in messy block letters.

Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917/1964
Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917/1964; ceramic, glaze, and paint, 15 in. x 19 1/4 in. x 24 5/8 in. (38.1 cm x 48.9 cm x 62.55 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Purchase through a gift of Phyllis C. Wattis; © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel Duchamp

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Fountain
Artist name
Marcel Duchamp
Date created
1917/1964
Classification
sculpture
Medium
ceramic, glaze, and paint
Dimensions
15 in. x 19 1/4 in. x 24 5/8 in. (38.1 cm x 48.9 cm x 62.55 cm)
Date acquired
1998
Credit
Collection SFMOMA
Purchase through a gift of Phyllis C. Wattis
Copyright
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel Duchamp
Permanent URL
https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/98.291
Artwork status
On view on floor 2 as part of Open Ended: Painting and Sculpture Since 1900

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