MARCEL DUCHAMP, French Artist (1887-1968). Most often associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. Considered to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century. Duchamp produced relatively few artworks, while moving quickly through the avant-garde circles of his time. Duchamp's first work to provoke significant controversy was Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2. In 1918, he left the art scene and devoted the rest of his life to the game of chess.