“As important to modern art as Socrates’ dialogues were to ancient philosophy”
One of the best art books of 2013
“Need It Now”
In 1964, Calvin Tomkins spent a number of afternoons interviewing Marcel Duchamp in his apartment on West 10th Street in New York. Casual yet insightful, Duchamp reveals himself as a man and an artist whose playful principles toward living freed him to make art that was as unpredictable, complex, and surprising as life itself. Those interviews have never been edited and made public, until now. The Afternoon Interviews, which includes an introductory interview with Tomkins reflecting on Duchamp as an artist, guide, and friend, reintroduces the reader to key ideas of his artistic world and renews Duchamp as a vital model for a new generation of artists.
Calvin Tomkins was born in 1925 in Orange, New Jersey. He joined the New Yorker as a staff writer in 1960. His many profiles include John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, Merce Cunningham, Leo Castelli, Damien Hirst, Richard Serra, Bruce Nauman, Cindy Sherman, and Jasper Johns. Tomkins is the author of twelve books, including The Bride and the Bachelors (1965), Living Well Is the Best Revenge (1971), Lives of the Artists (2008), and Duchamp: A Biography (1996).