I’ve finally tracked down the primary sources of Marcel Duchamp‘s frequently cited disparagement of what he calls “retinal” art .
And I’d almost forgotten, but the best illustration to the antiretinal position of Duchamp is the eye and razor scene (above) from Un chien andalou, which I first posted back in 2007.
Also remarkable is the fact that Duchamp was actually not original when dissing “retinal painting” in the 1950s. In the 1912 pamphlet Du “Cubisme”, two hardline cubists, Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger, had already accused Courbet of having “accepted everything that his retina communicated to him, without intellectual control.”
See also: ocularcentrism and “The Disenchantment of the Eye: Surrealism and the Crisis of Ocularcentrism” by Martin Jay.