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Nine Malic Moulds, 1963 (replica of 1914-15 original)

Marcel Duchamp

French, 1887-1968
Color photograph between glass
25-1/2 x 40-1/4 in. (64.8 x 102.2 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Museum Purchase
© Succession Marcel Duchamp / ADAGP, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 2014 Reproduction, including downloading of ARS works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Not on view

The second of three works on glass, Nine Malic Moulds is a study for the Bachelor Apparatus of The Bride Stripped Bare of Her Bachelors, Even, also known as The Large Glass, from 1915–23. In The Large Glass, Duchamp created an artwork divided into two sections; above, the bride waits for a suitor; below, the bachelors jockey for her attention in the Bachelor Apparatus. In the act of vying for attention, they go through three emotional states—intention, fear and desire. The bachelors’ intentions are to meet the bride, but fear of consequences holds them back. This fear can only be countered by the strength of their desire for her.

Nine Malic Moulds represents nine types of jobs that could be held by men, these bachelors, in 1915: a priest, a department-store delivery boy, a gendarme, a cuirassier, a policeman, an undertaker, a flunky, a busboy and a stationmaster. Duchamp viewed each shape as a mold for a person to be pressed into and formed.

The original Nine Malic Moulds, made in 1914–15, was composed of oil painted onto sheet lead, with lead wire, sandwiched between two sheets of glass. The Norton Simon Museum’s version was made in 1963 for the Pasadena Art Museum retrospective, under the artist’s supervision.

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