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Question: Which artist invented the ready-made?
Answer: Dada artist Marcel Duchamp came up with the concept of the ready-made, a mass-produced object presented as art. He presented his most-notorious ready-made in 1917, a porcelain urinal titled Fountain and signed “R. Mutt.”
Question: Which artist chopped off his own ear?
Answer: In December 1888, in a fit of rage, van Gogh severed his left ear, wrapped his head in bandages, and would have bled to death had he not been discovered the next morning.
Question: Which artist designed a flying machine?
Answer: Designs for a flying machine much like the modern-day helicopter were found in Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks. He called it the “helical air screw.”
Question: Which artist died of a drug overdose at age 27?
Answer: American artist Basquiat, known for his graffiti-like paintings, died of a heroin overdose in 1988.
Question: Which artist invented pointillism?
Answer: In the late 1880s Seurat invented pointillism: the practice of applying small strokes or dots of color to a surface so that from a distance they visually blend together. His most-famous pointillist painting is A Sunday on La Grande Jatte—1884.
Question: Which artist’s primary medium was the quilt?
Answer: Ringgold is known for her story quilts, many of which have a political or social message.
Question: Which artist is known for self-portraits?
Answer: Each of these artists is known for many self-portraits—Rembrandt in the 17th century, van Gogh in the 19th century, and Sherman in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Question: Which artist made sculptures of writers Victor Hugo and Honoré de Balzac?
Answer: Rodin made bronze portrait sculptures of Hugo and Balzac in the late 19th century.
Question: Which artist’s photographs were discovered only posthumously?
Answer: Maier, who lived as a nanny in Chicago most of her life and died in 2009, was also apparently a prolific and talented photographer. A trove of her negatives and rolls of film were first discovered in 2007, and since 2010 her talent has been shared with the public through exhibitions and books.
Self-Portrait, oil on canvas by Vincent van Gogh, 1889; in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Overall: 57.2 x 43.8 cm., framed: 82.9 x 69.2 x 6.7 cm.

Name That Artist

Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; collection of Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney, accession no. 1998.74.5
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