About this artwork
Reynolds created this binding based on Duchamp’s windows, Fresh Widow (1920) and Brawl at Austerlitz (1921). In 1936 Duchamp revisited his windows and had the Brawl printed on paper and celluloid for André Breton’s Au Lavoir noir (Paris: Editions GLM, 1936). It was enclosed loose in each of the seventy copies. Presumably, Reynolds revisited this concept with him with this inspired fenêtre binding as a result.
Duchamp created his windows with opaque panes that could not be seen through: functional objects that did not function, another of his plastic puns. Unlike Fresh Widow, the window panes on this binding are not completely darkened, but dotted with uneven holes, inviting the viewer to look in, but allowing only a glimpse of the contents.
“Pataphysics,” a concept Jarry (1873–1907) introduced in this book, is the study of a realm additional to metaphysics, a science of imaginary solutions. Pataphysics welcomes all scientific explanations for the universe, suspending all values moral, aesthetic, and otherwise. Jarry regarded reality as a cosmic joke.
- Currently Off View
- Ryerson and Burnham Libraries Special Collections
- Mary Reynolds
- Gestes et opinions du docteur Faustroll, pataphysicien, by Alfred Jarry
- full brown leather binding with panel on front and back; panel is a black calf-covered die cut with copper background; title stamped in gold on front panel; author stamped in gold on back panel; glassine endpapers; gilt edges; original paper covers bound in.
- 14.5 × 10.5 × 1.7 cm (5 3/4 × 4 3/16 × 11/16 in.)
- Mary Reynolds Collection, Ryerson & Burnham Libraries