Paperback, 256 pages, North Atlantic Books 2020
Spanning three decades, two continents, two world wars, and the international art and chess scenes of the mid twentieth century, Duchamp's Pipe explores the remarkable friendship between art world enfant terrible Marcel Duchamp and blindfold chess champion George Koltanowski. Artist and cultural historian Celia Rabinovitch describes each man's rise to prominence, the chess matches that sparked their relationship, and the recently discovered pipe that Duchamp gave to Koltanowski. This tale of genius and resilience offers fresh insights into the essence of the gift in the bohemian underground. Rabinovitch invites us to discover the chess wizard and a Duchamp slightly off pedestal--and ultimately more human.
Celia Rabinovitch, an artist, writer, and scholar, weaves the artist's experience into a nuanced understanding of modern art, history, cultural anthropology, and comparative mythology. She has taught at the University of Colorado, California College of the Arts, the San Francisco Art Institute, and Stanford University, and as invited speaker at Cornell University, the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and University of the Arts, Philadelphia, and has been an artist in residence at Syracuse University and the University of Victoria, British Columbia. Duchamp's Pipe is her second book.