Duchamp’s World Tour- DC Thomson Reunion at the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool- signed limited edition silkscreen print on paper with lithographic collage by Pop Art artist Sir Peter Blake CBE
Making a trio with The Animals’ Fancy Dress Ball and New Year’s Eve Parade, Peter Blake completes his imagined narrative of Marcel Duchamp visiting The Tower Ballroom, Blackpool while on a tour of England. Each edition is made using a combination of silkscreen and lithography; the first time Blake has combined these two mediums.
In the early 2000s Blake made a series of paintings under the title Marcel Duchamp’s World Tour, these large works centred on the idea of Marcel Duchamp finding himself in unexpected situations: playing chess with Tracey Emin, or on a tour bus with the Spice Girls. The Tower Ballroom prints are an extension of this playful concept; a further incident on Duchamps’s tour of the world. Blake includes the figure of Duchamp in each piece, it is for the viewer to seek him out. The three works imagine three different and fantastical events that Duchamp attends during his stay in Blackpool. On this occasion Duchamp is an honoured guest at a reunion of DC Thomson characters,
‘I saw Beano and Dandy as a child in the 1940s and the characters stayed in my memory, especially Lord Snooty and the gang. I thought it would be nice for Marcel Duchamp to meet the animals and all my chums from DC Thomson.‘
Blake’s homage to Duchamp is not surprising; he paved the way for many modern and contemporary art movements including pop art, installation art and conceptual art, as well as influencing many of the YBAs (Hirst, Emin. Quinn, Turk-all of whom are friends of Blake). Duchamp’s mission statement that anything an artist did could be art, has certainly been central to Blake’s work and his philosophy of fine art.
The Blackpool Tower Ballroom is an iconic choice for an artist who has always been fascinated by popular leisure activities. He populates the ballroom with a magic crowd of much-loved characters including Dennis and Gnasher, Minnie the Minx, Roger the Dodger, Desperate Dan, Lord Snooty, the Bash Street Kids and many more.