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23° & SUNNY ON SATURDAY 19 OCTOBER IN SYDNEY
By Cordelia Williamson
June 14, 2019
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Art After Hours: Duchamp's Playground

Get intimate with the artist who made a urinal ‘art’.
By Cordelia Williamson
June 14, 2019
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in partnership with

The Art Gallery of NSW has a lot going on at the moment, from Australia's favourite art prize to the most comprehensive Marcel Duchamp exhibition to ever reach the Asia Pacific. For those who don't quite recognise the name, he's the dude who decided a bicycle wheel on top of a wooden stool and a urinal could both be art. The groundbreaking and, at times, controversial French artist expanded the possibilities of what art can and should be. But did you know he was also a chess champion? And an incredibly witty wordsmith?

To celebrate this landmark exhibition, we've teamed up with the gallery to bring you three free Art After Hours events that explore the more intimate details of Duchamp's personal life, as well as his 60-year, convention-defying career. Other than being an artistic maverick with his readymades, did you know he was a chess champion? A playful humorist? An incredibly witty wordsmith?

Well, at each Art After Hours host Carlo Ritchie, one half of the Aussie improv comedy team The Bear Pack, will lead you through a playful world of Duchampian hijinks across three Wednesday nights. Over the course of this immersive and irreverent series, you'll get to assemble your own readymade while DJ Klasik spins tunes on June 19, challenge yourself and check your mate in a game of chess on June 26 and try your tongue at slippery wordplay with punny pick-up lines and improv games on July 3. There'll be a pop-up bar, too, if you're in need of liquid courage. 

After, be sure to check out the 125-strong retrospective of art and documentary materials, marking the 50th anniversary of Duchamp's death, which will be open late during the Art After Hours events. The workshops are free and require no booking, but you can register your interest via Facebook. Meanwhile, the exhibition itself is ticketed. To purchase, head to the Art Gallery of NSW's website.

Duchamp's Playground will take place on Wednesday, June 19 from 6–9pm, Wednesday, June 26 from 7–9pm and Wednesday, July 3, from 6–9pm. The Essential Duchamp exhibition will run until Sunday, August 11.

Image: Jenni Carter, 'Carlo Ritchie in The essential Duchamp exhibition', 2019. 

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