16.5.13

Man Ray by Roland Penrose Part 3

I hate summarizing.  It takes away from the inherent value of detail and description.  It seems appropriate to find works that I particularly resonated with, while providing a concise paragraph about the context of said resonance. 

The Bridge 1937

This pen and ink drawing begins a book titled Les Mains Libres and is followed by a preface where Paul Eluard concludes, "Man Ray draws so as no to forget himself, but to be present, so that the world shall not disappear from his eyes.  He draws to be loved.  Desire, life, are neither happy nor sad."  I enjoyed these drawings for their ability to capture this opposing yet romantic notion. 


Hamlet 1949

Man Ray left Paris and move to California around 1940. He found a studio, a new wife, a new car and began a new life that motivated him to create all kinds of new work.  Man Ray's Shakespearian Equations were exhibited at The Copley Gallery.  The paintings were a direct response to Breton's notion, "it would be falling into the trap of closed rationalism to oppose mathematical objects with their arid formulas to poetical objects with more seductive titles." Man Ray sought to prove that there could be artistic inspiration in the mathematical objects, in response to Breton he says, "In returning to the mathematical objects as a source of material for my Shakespearian Equations, I proposed to myself to take liberties not only with legends but with the forms themselves, their composition, and by the addition of colour to make them as arbitrary as the most creative work could be." The subtle ambition of this successful attempt really speaks to the kind of strategies that motivated the work of Man Ray. 

Later, Breton wrote this Poem about Man Ray. 

The indoor trapper
The velvety guardian of the grapes of sight
The captor of the sun and the champion of shadows
The great examiner of the scenes of everyday life
The navigator of the never seen and the wrecker of the foreseen
The prince of the snapshot
The early riser of style
The plasterer of fashion
The pilot of kites - lips and hearts - over our roofs
The spinner of air into as many streamers of Riemann
The despair of the parrot
The inscrutable gambler
My friend Man Ray

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