The art and ideas of this French painter, sculptor and writer, who gained American citizenship in 1955, perhaps more than any other 20th century artist, exemplify the range of possibilities inherent in the process of producing art. Duchamp refused to accept the models and practices of an established system of art, conventions that were considered essential to achieve fame and fortune. He refused to repeat himself in order to develop a personal style and likewise refused to exhibit on a regular basis. He began painting at 15, having classes in 1904 and 1905 at the Académie Julian. His works were presented publicly for the first time in 1909 at the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d' Automne in Paris as well as at the Société Normande de Peinture Modern in Rouen. Around 1912, Duchamp painted the work that would bring him a name and an international reputation and with which he would always be linked, Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2. During the spring of this year, he continued to play with the imagery of Cubist forms in a series of drawings and paintings which reconciled human forms with mechanical images. In 1913, he gave up the traditional tools and techniques of painting driven by his desire to elevate art and the artistic process beyond the merely visual or retinal. Two years later, he began the construction of his most complex work The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even, also known as Large Glass. In 1918, Duchamp left for Buenos Aires, to return to Paris the following year where he joined Francis Picabia for six months and where he met many of the Dada group. Despite having many friends actively participating in Dadaism and Surrealism, Duchamp's work always had few stylistic affinities with these groups. In challenging the traditional concepts of art with his anti-art, he anticipated numerous later developments and is seen as one of the most important vanguardists and a central figure in 20th century art.