/red"ee mayd"/, adj.
1. made in advance for sale to any purchaser, rather than to order: a ready-made coat.
2. made for immediate use.
3. unoriginal; conventional.
4. readymade.
5. something that is ready-made, as a garment or a piece of furniture or equipment.
[1400-50; late ME]

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Everyday object selected and designated as art.

The name was coined by Marcel Duchamp, whose first ready-mades included a snow shovel that he picked up on a snowy day in New York, and a wheel mounted on a stool (1913). They represented a protest against the excessive importance attached to works of art. Duchamp's anti-aesthetic gestures made him one of the leading Dadaists of his day, and his ready-made concept, though widely regarded for decades as an insult to art, was adapted by such later artists as Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, and Jasper Johns.

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      everyday object selected and designated as art; the name was coined by the French artist Marcel Duchamp (Duchamp, Marcel).

      Duchamp created the first ready-made, Bicycle Wheel (1913), which consisted of a wheel mounted on a stool, as a protest against the excessive importance attached to works of art. This work was technically a “ready-made assisted,” because the artist intervened by combining two objects. Duchamp subsequently made “pure ready-mades,” each of which consisted of a single item, such as Bottle Rack (1914), and the best-known ready-made, the porcelain urinal entitled Fountain (1917). By selecting mass-produced, commonplace objects, Duchamp attempted to destroy the notion of the uniqueness of the art object. The result was a new, controversial definition of art as an intellectual rather than a material process.

      Duchamp and his ready-mades were embraced by the artists who formed the nihilistic Dada movement from 1916 to the 1920s; Duchamp became Dada's main proponent in the United States. The ready-made continued to be an influential concept in Western art for much of the 20th century. It provided a major basis for the Pop art movement of the 1950s and '60s, which took as its subject matter commonplace objects from popular culture. The intellectual emphasis of ready-mades also influenced the conceptual art movement that emerged in the 1960s, which considers the artist's idea more important than the final product.

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Universalium. 2010.

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