The price may seem absurd to some, but this bicycle wheel is part of a rare collection of "readymade" art works by Marcel Duchamp - arguably the most influential artist of the 20th century.
The story of Duchamp's readymades begins in 1912 when, after an important painting of his had been rejected by the fashionable Salon des Independants in Paris, he declared: "Painting is all washed up." So, in 1913, he found a bicycle wheel which he placed on a stool in his Paris studio.
Citation Bicycle Wheel New York 1951Third Version of the artwork after the loss of the original in 1913Assemblage: metal wheel, 63.8cmdiameter, mounted on painted wood stool, 60.2cm high Overall Dimensions: 128.3cm x 63.8cm x 42cm Artist: Marcel Duchamp Artist's Aim and Purpose of the Artwork When Marcel Duchamp created the first of his Ready-mades, he had not yet developed a clear idea whether his 'sculpture' was an artwork.Physically, the process used to create this artwork was simply painting a stool white and screwing on a bicycle wheel upside-down.A BICYCLE wheel placed on a kitchen stool is estimated to sell for up to million in a contemporary art sale at Phillips, de Pury and Luxembourg in New York on May 13.However, in context with the revolutions occurring in art at the time, this artwork would have been intended to shock its audience.Duchamp seems to have created the piece Bicycle Wheel for his own personal experiments and enjoyment.I enjoyed looking at it, just as I enjoy looking at the flames dancing in a fireplace."Processes and Techniques Used to Create the Artwork Bicycle Wheel was not originally considered by its creator, Marcel Duchamp, as a work of art.