Aside from autumn leaves and winter coats, October also welcomed The Fine Art Society’s brand new exhibition, What Marcel Duchamp Taught Me.

Established sculptor, Stephen Nelson is also one of our very own AHA tutors. At the beginning of this week I was able to go and see his unprecedented works scattered across the Bond Street Townhouse.

‘Congratulations!’, I said.

‘For what?!’ Steve replied humbly, as we looked up from our glasses, only to see the largest show in the history of The Fine Art Society’s gallery.

Stephen Nelson, The Large Wood, 2014, Mixed Media

Without a figurative painting in sight, the exhibit champions the ‘readymade’ concept, presenting the idea that anything could be art – it was up to the artist.  From broken chessboards to bottles of spirits, it was safe to say we were no longer in the National Gallery. Which, at times, can be rather refreshing.

‘Duchamp gave us license to hang/display what we like, to collaborate with the world and its many wonders, to give art works tantalising titles that my or not be a window into the object in front of us’ – Stephen Nelson

Steve’s works shy from the ordinary, using a variety of materials and ambiguous titles that echo the ideas of the multifaceted Duchamp. The Large Wood is a construction that posits the question: What would happen if someone else was doing what Duchamp was doing at the same time? Influenced the book Blue Afternoon by William Boyd, the artist has created an object in reaction to his question, challenging the authenticity and originality in art.


Stephen Nelson, Hollywood Steeplechase, 2014, ink and combustile on paper

Members of the audience included other Art History Abroad employees, including Nick Ross, director of AHA, who concluded the evening beautifully with his few words.

For more of Steve’s works, check out his website by clicking here.

The exhibition runs until the 5th November, go go go!



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