About This Artwork

Suzanne Duchamp
French, 1889–1963

Broken and Restored Multiplication, 1918/19

Oil and silver paper on canvas
24 x 19 11/16 in. (61 x 50 cm)
Signed, titled, and dated, l.r.: "Brisée/Multiplication et/Rétablie/Suzanne Duchamp 1918-19"

Gift of Mary P. Hines in memory of her mother, Frances W. Pick; through prior acquisitions of Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson, H. J. Willing, and Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester, 1994.552

© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Like many Dada works, those by Suzanne Duchamp weave painting, collage, and language together in complex ways. Broken and Restored Multiplication is filled with visual and verbal metaphors of disorder and breakage: at the center, a schematic Eiffel Tower is turned upside down; just below it, a modern cityscape is reflected in its mirror image. The phrases that run up and down along the surface of the picture further the idea of order upended: "The mirror would shatter, the scaffolding would totter, the balloons would fly away, the stars would dim, etc." Such images and words seemed fitting for the artists who embraced Dada, a cultural movement that emerged in response to World War I.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Paris, Galerie Montaigne, Exposition des Oeuvres de Suzanne Duchamp et Jean Crotti, April 4-16, 1921, no. 5.

New York, Sidney Janis Gallery, Dada, 1953.Rouen, Musée des Beaux Arts, Les Duchamps, 1967.

Milan, Comne di Milano-Ripartizione Cultura, L’Altra Met dell’Avanguardia, 1910-1940, 1980, p. 157.

Kunsthalle Bern, Tabu Dada, Jean Crotti & Suzanne Duchamp, January 2-February 27, 1983, no. 61; traveled to Paris, Centre Pompidou, April 6-May 30, 1983; Houston Museum of Fine Arts, July 29-October 16, 1983; Philadelphia Museum of Art, December 1983-January 1984.

Los Angeles, County Museum of Art, The Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1985, November 23-March 8, 1987, no. 35; traveled to Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, April 17-July 19, 1987, and The Hague, Haags Gemeentemuseum, September 1-November 22, 1987.

Kunsthaus Zurich, Dada Global, August 12-November 6, 1994.

Columbus, The Ohio State University, Wexner Center for the Arts, Staging Surrealism: A Succession of Collections; 2, September 19, 1997-January 4, 1998, p. 79.

Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, Dada, February 19–May 14, 2006; traveled to New York, Museum of Modern Art, June 16–September 11, 2006.

Publication History

Documents: Suzanne Duchamp, Cahier d’Art Edition Pierre Cailler Geneva–Peinture et Collage.Lea Vergine, L'altra metà dell'avanguardia, 1910-1940: Pittrici e scultrici nei movimenti delle avanguardie storiche (Milano: 1980), p.175.

James N. Wood and Teri J. Edelstein, The Art Institute of Chicago: Twentieth-Century Painting and Sculpture (Chicago, 1996), p. 44 (ill.).

Naomi Sawelson-Gorse and Molly Nesbit, eds., Women in Dada (Boston, 1997), p.88 (ill.).

Ownership History

Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, by 1948. Purchased by Enrico Donati, New York, late 1940s [phone conversation, January 7, 2004 with Stephanie D’Alessandro, Art Institute]. Given to his daughter, B. Donati, Paris, n.d. Purchased by Jean René Ullmann, Paris, by 1980 [letter September 5, 2003 from Marcel Fleiss in curatorial file and Vergine 1980]. Bernard Batut, Paris [letter September 5, 2003 from Marcel Fleiss in curatorial file]. Purchased by Galerie 1900–2000 (Marcel Fliess), Paris. Purchased by Rachel Adler Gallery, New York [see copy of invoice in curatorial file]. Sold to the Art Institute, 1994.

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