Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 is as much a signature piece for Marcel Duchamp as it is for Anna B. Crocker. Duchamp shocked the New York art world with it in early 1913 and Crocker did the same in November 1913 when she exhibited it at the Portland Art Museum. Almost like stop motion photography the nude traverses the painting leaving the viewer with a sense of how ephemeral time can be, an irreversible forward movement – unless of course you're John McCracken and time travel. Here's a piece of ekphrasis poetry in honor of the timeless nude. Following it is a Youtube video about Anna Crocker.
Nude Descending a Staircase by X. J. Kennedy
Toe upon toe, a snowing flesh,
A gold of lemon, root and rind,
She sifts in sunlight down the stairs
With nothing on. Nor on her mind.
We spy beneath the banister
A constant thresh of thigh on thigh--
Her lips imprint the swinging air
That parts to let her parts go by.
One-woman waterfall, she wears
Her slow descent like a long cape
And pausing, on the final stair
Collects her motions into shape.