Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968)
The Collection of Robert Shapazian
Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968)

L.H.O.O.Q. Rasée

Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968)
L.H.O.O.Q. Rasée
signed 'Marcel Duchamp' (lower right); titled 'rasée L.H.O.O.Q.' (lower center); inscribed 'Mr. Nicolas Horlin Ekstrom' (on the reverse)
playing card mounted on printed paper
card: 3½ x 2½ in. (8.9 x 6.4 cm.)
overall: 8½ x 5½ in. (21.6 x 14 cm.)
Executed in 1965.
Nicolas H. Ekstrom, New York, acquired from the artist
Galerie Folker Skulima, Berlin
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1983
A. Schwarz, The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp, vol. II, New York, 1997, p. 849, no. 615 (another example illustrated).


This work has been authenticated by Mme Jacqueline Matisse Monnier and the Association Marcel Duchamp.

On January 14, 1965--NOT SEEN and/or LESS SEEN of/by MARCEL DUCHAMP RROSE SÉLAVY 1904-64--the single largest gallery exhibition of Duchamp's work held in his lifetime--opened at the Cordier & Ekstrom gallery on Madison Avenue in New York. Consisting of more than ninety works, this show did more to introduce Duchamp's art and ideas to an international audience than any previous exhibition, including the retrospective that was held at the Pasadena Museum of Art a few years earlier. From 1965 through 1968, it toured sixteen cities in three separate countries, from five locations across America to three in New Zealand and six in Australia.

Duchamp was very much involved in the organization of the show, helping the gallery to assemble examples of his work from collections around the world. He designed the cover of the catalogue, and the invitation to a dinner after the opening. The invitation consisted of a playing card decorated with a reproduction of the Mona Lisa, each of which he inscribed rasée just above the letters L.H.O.O.Q. that he arranged to be printed directly on the invitation. By having handwritten the word "shaved," Duchamp emphasizes the fact that this famous woman of the Renaissance appears here without the added facial hair that made her such an appropriate and memorable expression of Dada iconoclasm nearly a half century earlier. Because a traditional deck of cards is only 52 in number, it was assumed that this work was produced in an edition of only 52 examples, but Arne Ekstrom--who owned and managed the gallery--later explained that a Canasta deck of 108 cards was used, although only about 100 were sent out as invitations for the dinner.