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L.H.O.O.Q by Marcel Duchamp (1919).

In the 19th century, art was mainly defined by ‘bourgeois individualism’, and was enjoyed by members of this class as a means of escaping the constraints of day-to-day life. By early 20th century Europe, the stark shift in social landscape — such as the global wave of industrialisation and the climate encompassing the First World War- prompted the belief that art should parallel these new experiences, and should no longer be separate from the realities of the world. In other words, there was a growing conviction that art should move beyond purely aesthetic pleasures (art for art’s sake) to ‘affect…

Shireen Ali

Student with an interest in the arts and humanities. Researcher, writer, and editor at Komuhakan.

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