Philadelphia Museum of Art announces Dancing around the Bride. Cage, Cunningham, Johns, Rauschenberg, and Duchamp

Philadelphia Museum of Art presents Dancing around the Bride. Cage, Cunningham, Johns, Rauschenberg, and Duchamp, an exhibition on view October 30, 2012–January 21, 2013.

Examining one of the most important chapters in the history of contemporary art, Dancing around the Bride is the first exhibition to explore Marcel Duchamp’s American legacy by tracing his interactions and exchanges with four postwar masters: composer John Cage, choreographer Merce Cunningham, and visual artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. The exhibition will feature over one hundred works, including more than sixty by Johns and Rauschenberg and more than forty by Duchamp, as well as prerecorded and live music by John Cage and live performances of choreographies by Merce Cunningham. Many of these works will be seen together for the first time and reflect the artists’ multiple levels of engagement across the disciplines of art, dance, and music. Dancing around the Bride, organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, will debut in Philadelphia and then travel to the Barbican Centre in London in February 2013.

Setting the direction for many subsequent developments in contemporary art, Duchamp famously questioned the very definition of art, probing the distinction between art and life, turning to chance rather than fixed ideas about taste and aesthetics, and utilizing everyday objects not only in the creation of his work, but as objects of art themselves. Encountering Duchamp and his work at various moments during the early stages of their development, Cage, Cunningham, Johns, and Rauschenberg each embraced key aspects of Duchamp’s ideas and artistic practices and, by doing so, reinvigorated Duchamp’s own reception in the United States from the 1960s onward. The exhibitionwill highlight formative moments such as Johns and Rauschenberg’s 1958 visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) (1915–23), one of the Museum’s greatest masterpieces and the source for this exhibition’s title.

For general information, call (215) 763-8100, or visit the Museum’s website at