Born in the North of France, Marcel Duchamp is considered one of the most important artists of the 20th century. At first influenced by cubism and fauvism, Marcel Duchamp quickly moved away from these avant-garde movements to focus almost exclusively on movement and its decomposition.
For Marcel Duchamp, what we think we see or what we think we hear is indeed a matter of perceptual, ocular or sound illusion. This interest in mechanical art and optical illusions led to the creation of his set of 6 discs known as Rotoreliefs. Taking advantage of a new and popular technology, the phonograph, which made it possible to enjoy flat visual puns at home, the Rotoreliefs present an apparent contradiction to this prohibition against retinal art. Once in motion they display a pulsating « relief » that oscillates between positive and negative space.
« Painting should not be exclusively visual or retinal. It must interest the gray matter; our appetite for intellectualization. »