In 3 Standard Stoppages, Duchamp had explored the possibility of adjusting the metric standard through a random procedure. In this large canvas he complicated that idea, multiplying the curves of the fallen threads from 3 Standard Stoppages by reproducing each one three times and positioning them in a diagrammatic arrangement. He also made the work by painting over the images on a canvas he had already used, those images being a female figure and a schematic, quasi-mechanical drawing of his ongoing project The Large Glass. The visible and semivisible layers of Network of Stoppages seem to contrast three representational systems: traditional figuration, chance operations, and the diagram, which maps the world without picturing it.
Gallery label from Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925, December 23, 2012–April 15, 2013.