Dancing around the Bride Cage, Cunningham, Johns, Rauschenberg, and Duchamp Carlos Basualdo, Erica F. Battle, Reinaldo Laddaga, Paul Franklin, Calvin Tomkins

Publication date:
08 Jan 2013
Yale University Press
432 pages: 229 x 171mm
100 color + 105 b-w illus.
Sales territories:


An examination of the interwoven lives and works of Duchamp and four of America’s most important postwar artists

This fascinating book explores the interwoven lives, radical art, and shared experimental spirit of Marcel Duchamp and four of America's most important postwar artists: composer John Cage, choreographer Merce Cunningham, and visual artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. The publication traces the relationships among all five of these artists by mapping their intersections and examining the depth of their artistic exchanges.

At the heart of the publication is an anthology of key texts from selected interviews, magazine articles, and book excerpts, by scholars, critics, and the artists themselves, that together narrate the younger generation's first connections to Duchamp and his work, which would profoundly redefine his legacy as well as the entire field of contemporary art. A new text by Calvin Tomkins provides an insightful first-person account of his encounters with these artists at a key moment in the 1960s. The book also includes the first extensive chronology that recounts the lives, art, and common projects of this influential group of artists.

Carlos Basualdo is the Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Curator of Contemporary Art, and Erica F. Battle is project curatorial assistant, modern and contemporary art, both at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

“among the greatest written explications of the American midcentury avant-garde anywhere.”—The Buffalo News