Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Man Ray in The Hague

Man Ray - "Unconcerned But Not Indifferent"
Fotomuseum Den Haag
January 17-April 19, 2009
Curators Noriko Fuku and John Jacob.
Other venues: Berlin (2008) and Paris (2008).
Catalogue available.

The Man Ray: Unconcerned But Not Indifferent exhibition comprises drawings, photos, paintings and sculptures from the Man Ray Trust collection in Long Island, New York. The Man Ray Trust collection has never gone on show before. In juxtaposing Man Ray’s artistic works, tools, documents, objects and pictures which gave the artist his inspiration, the exhibition creates a distinctive setting allowing visitors to experience and enjoy his wide-ranging artistic work.

The Man Ray Trust collection
After his death in 1976 Man Ray’s estate passed into the hands of his wife, Juliet, who was joined by her brothers in setting up the Man Ray Trust to preserve and promote the artist’s legacy. Part of the estate was donated to the French national museums, while the trust selected artworks, objects, documents and personal items for the American collection designed to provide a comprehensive overview of Man Ray’s creative period spanning over 60 years.

The trust has so far catalogued over 2,000 works and confirmed their authenticity. However, research work into all the facets of the collection has not yet been completed. Man Ray: Unconcerned But Not Indifferent is the first exhibition to provide a comprehensive insight into the collection. The unique feature of the trust’s collection is that it encompasses items from all Man Ray’s creative periods, including little-known early works, documents from his private life, sketches for large-scale works and their documentation as well as numerous masterpieces. As was stated in an article about the trust in the magazine ArtNews in June 2002, the collection is “perfect”.

The exhibition
The inscription on Man Ray’s gravestone Unconcerned But Not Indifferent was chosen as the title of the exhibition. Comprising over 300 exhibits, it is the first of its kind to relate Man Ray’s artistic works to the objects and images from which he derived his inspiration – his bowler hat and walking stick, items from the shelves of his studio in Rue de Ferou in Paris, his collection of erotic photographs and the objects he used for the camera-less photographic technique he called ‘rayography’.

Profiting from the abundance of material available in the Man Ray Trust, the exhibition looks at the development of numerous motifs from sketches up to the masterpiece and shows the occasional use Man Ray made of photographic material for paintings and works of graphic art. The exhibition also gives visitors an opportunity to form a picture of Man Ray’s life and his creative processes. Among the objects on display are personal items, such as pieces of jewellery that Man Ray made for his wife Juliet, private letters, drawings and manuscripts, including two early drafts of Man Ray’s autobiography, a formula for photographic chemicals and a patent application for a magnetic chess set. Also on show are documents never exhibited before, which Man Ray used as source material for his paintings and prints, as well as proofs containing comments Man Ray made for himself and his printers. These exhibits are assigned to the finished works to which they refer, thus offering a new insight into Ray’s life and artistic work.

The Unconcerned But Not Indifferent exhibition has been arranged in accordance with Man Ray’s four creative periods: New York (1890–1921), Paris (1921–1940), Los Angeles (1940–1951) and Paris (1950–1976). It begins with New York and a collection of proofs from Man Ray’s personal card files, in which he kept a record of his early works. These card files, the originals of which were stolen from Man Ray’s studio after his death and have never reappeared, were the subject of considerable controversy and have never been exhibited before. Wherever possible they are assigned to the works they document. Among the items on display from Man Ray’s years in Paris are the records of his own works and those of other artists, including Duchamp, Picasso, Miro and Leger, as well as a little book of Rousseau’s work that he produced. It was through Rousseau’s work that Man Ray learned to become a photographer, thus enabling him to gain entry to the Paris art world in the 1920s. Most of these works are likewise unknown.

Text Credits: The Berliner Festspiele, Berlin.
Image Credits: Poster of the exhibition “Man Ray: Unconcerned But Not Indifferent” (Design: Steenbrink Vormgeving, Berlin).

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Futurismo 100

Futurismo 100: Illuminations
Avant-gardes compared. Italy, Germany, Russia

17 January 2009 to 7 June 2009
Curated by Ester Coen.

One hundred years after the publication of the Futurist manifesto, the innovative force of the highly important art movement launched by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti in 1909 has lost none of its power. The Mart celebrates the centenary of Italy’s leading avant-garde movement by taking a fresh look at it in an exhibition curated by Ester Coen, reconstructing its development within the historical context of the early 20th century.

Museo Correr
5 June to 4 October 2009.

Palazzo Reale
15 October 2009 to 25 January 2010
Curated by Ester Coen.

The last of the cycle of art exhibitions concludes the centenary celebrations of Futurism with a tribute to Umberto Boccioni. With Umberto Boccioni as the point of reference, Simultaneita' compares a sequence of Futurist works by Carlo Carrà and Luigi Russolo to avant-garde European sculpture of the same period, exploring some of the most significant stages of the movement. On display at Simultaneita' are collections from the Tate in London, Moscow's Tretyakov Gallery and the Pompidou Centre in Paris, including Alexander Archipenko, Constantin Brancusi, Jean Arp, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Jacob Epstein, Jacques Lipchitz, Antoine Pevsner, Naum Gabo and Vladimir Tatlin.

Scuderie del Quirinale
20 February to 24 May 2009.

Starting with the early Futurist period, the exhibition offers works from the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, to weave a path around a central core - the reconstruction of the 1912 Futurist exhibition held at the Bernheim-Jeune Gallery in Paris.