After seeing those arresting anatomical renderings, superficially objective but deeply prurient in their depiction of female and male genitalia, it is impossible to look again at Lequeu's architectural drawings without a new sense of their tumescent contours, scopophilic detailing and biomorphic transposition of classical motifs. The doors and windows of Lequeu's villas, temples and gazebos seem more like inviting orifices than utilitarian openings; columns become insistently phallic, fountains joyously orgasmic. Like all the most successful monomaniacs, this wizard draftsman seduces us into his hermetic universe, but it is only when that disquieting realm is explained in terms of his sexual fixation that its architectural imagery makes sense. It is known that in the early years of this century Marcel Duchamp used the Bibliotheque Nationale's print collection as a lending library, and among the books he took out was Lequeu's ''Architecture Civile.'' Mr. Duboy believes Duchamp tampered with it, revising texts and altering drawings. It is easy to understand the Dadaist's fascination with the Neoclassicists, for both loved sex, puns, double-entendres and tranvestism. There seems no doubt that the enigmatic Lequeu was a major influence on the great gamesman of 20th-century art; how much of what has come down to us as Lequeu might actually be by Duchamp is another story indeed.(read more...)
About Jean-Jacques Lequeu
Date of Birth: Sep 14 1757, Rouen
Date of Death: Mar 28 1826
French bureaucrat, pornographer, draftsman and architect, forerunner of surrealism, and "inventor of bad taste". His name means, literally, "Jack the Cock".
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