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Shambroom publishes “Duchamp’s Last Day”

  • Donald Shambroom —


Friday, January 11, 2019


SO. ROYALSTON – A book by South Royalston resident Donald Shambroom, “Duchamp’s Last Day,” has been published by David Zwirner Books as part of its prestigious Ekphrasis series.

Shambroom’s studio, where he has been at work on various creative projects for the past decade, is located on the banks of the Millers River, across from his Blossom Street home. He works in a variety of media, ranging from oil painting featuring huge images of brightly colored flowers to complex multi-media  projects that incorporate painting, photography, original and archival video and more. He is active in the North Quabbin Trails Association, and worked with NQTA President Bobby Curley on a scenic relocation of the Tully Trail on Jacobs Hill between high tension wires and Route 68.

Marcel Duchamp (1878-1968) is commonly regarded, along with Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, as one of the three artists who helped to define the revolutionary developments in the plastic arts in the opening decades of the 20th century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture, according to Wikipedia.

Amazon.com, where the 62-page book can be purchased, offers the following: “Published on the 50th anniversary of Marcel Duchamp's death, “Duchamp's Last Day” offers a radical reading of the artist's final hours. Just moments after Duchamp died, his closest friend, Man Ray, took a photograph of him. His face is wan; his eyes are closed; he appears calm. Taking this image as a point of departure, Donald Shambroom examines its context―the dinner with Man Ray and another friend, Robert Lebel, the night Duchamp died, the conversations about his own death at that dinner and elsewhere and the larger question of whether Duchamp's death can be read as an extension of his work.

“Shambroom's research into this final night and his analysis of the photograph feeds into questions about the nature of artworks and authorship, which Duchamp raised in his lifetime. In the case of this once long-lost photograph (reproduced for the first time here), who is the author―Man Ray or Duchamp? Is it an artwork or merely a record? Duchamp's Last Day is filled with intricate details from decades of research into this peculiar encounter between art, life and death.

Shambroom, born in 1950, is a visual artist, writer and curator whose work is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. In 1973, after graduating from Yale University where he studied philosophy and painting, Shambroom moved to Boston to pursue his career as a painter. His work has been shown at Francis Naumann gallery and Half Gallery in New York, and at Howard Yezerski Gallery in Boston. 

 


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