Tag Archives: man ray

Eye On Design: Alchimiste Ensemble For House of Dior

alchimiste ensemble photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

Maria Grazia Chiuri (born 1964 Rome, Italy) is the first woman to be appointed artistic Director at Christian Dior. She established herself as an activist designer with the slogans she incorporated into her first ready-to-wear collection, most famously “We should all be feminists,” from the title of a 2014 essay by Chiamanda Ngozi Adichie.

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Eye On Design: Chess Set By Man Ray

chess set by man ray photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

Man Ray enjoyed chess, relishing that the game, by design, requires both strategy and spontaneity to play. Though Man Ray remained “a third-rate player,” as he put it, his interest in the game “was directed towards designing new forms for chess pieces.” Manufactured in 1926 and based on his design for an earlier turned-wood set, the artist’s Chess Set (made from silver-plated and oxidized silver-plated brass) converts the familiar form of every chess piece into a more stylized shape that relies on associations — such as the connection between a king and an Egyptian pyramid — to reveal each piece’s identity. The sets tallest piece measures 4-inches high.

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

chess set by man ray photo by gail worley

Modern Art Monday Presents: Man Ray The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself With Shadows

The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself
Photo By Gail

Man Ray (Born Emmanuel Radnitzky, 1890 – 1976) became dissatisfied with his initial composition for this work, The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself With Shadows (1916), which was inspired by a tightrope performance he had seen in a vaudeville show. He had originally arranged pieces of colored paper  cut into the shapes of the tightrope dancer’s acrobatic forms. Glancing down at the floor, he noticed that the discarded scraps of paper from which the shapes had been cut formed an abstract pattern resulting from chance. Comparing the accidental pattern with shadows that a dancer might have cast on the floor, he incorporated it into his composition.

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents, René Magritte, The False Mirror

The False Mirror
Photo By Gail

Le Faux Miroir (1928) presents an enormous lash-less eye with a luminous cloud-swept blue sky filling the iris, and an opaque, dead-black disc for a pupil. The allusive title, provided by Belgian surrealist writer Paul Nougé, seems to insinuate limits to the authority of optical vision: a mirror provides a mechanical reflection, but the eye is selective and subjective. Magritte’s single eye functions on multiple enigmatic levels: the viewer both looks through it, as through a window, and is looked at by it, thus seeing and being seen simultaneously. The Surrealist photographer Man Ray, who owned the work from 1933 to 1936, recognized this compelling duality when he memorably described Le Faux Miroir as a painting that “sees as much as it itself is seen.”

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art n NYC.

Modern Art Monday: Man Ray, Indestructible Object

Indestructible Object
Photo By Gail

Man Ray (1890 – 1976) was a consummate avant-garde artist who often incorporated everyday materials in his work and embraced chance and accident. In this piece, originally created in 1923, and tiled Object to Be Destroyed, Man Ray places a photographic eye on the ticking wand of a metronome to make an object at once mechanical and human, quotidian and bizarre. The use of found objects aligns the work with Dada, while the psychological resonance of the eye points to themes that would become important to Surrealism, officially founded a year later in 1924. Man Ray remade the present version in 1963, six years after the original was destroyed at an exhibition. He wryly re-titled it Indestructible Object to reflect its seemingly indestructible nature.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.