The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Man Ray, African Art and the Modernist Lens Premieres at the Phillips Collection
Figurative Goldweight (abrammuo). Late 19th–early 20th century. Ghana, Akan. Brass; h: 1 1/16 in). The National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Carl Kjersmeier Collection. Photo: John Lee.
WASHINGTON, DC.- Best known for revolutionizing the art of photography, American artist Man Ray (1890-1976) produced a prolific collection of striking black-and-white compositions inspired by the African objects they depict. The Phillips Collection showcases these works in a new exhibition that explores the pivotal role photographs played in changing the perception of African objects from artifacts to fine art. Man Ray, African Art and the Modernist Lens is on view at the Phillips from Oct. 10, 2009 to Jan. 10, 2010.

Man Ray, African Art and the Modernist Lens features more than 50 photographs by Man Ray from the 1920s and 1930s as well as approximately 50 photographs by his international avant-garde contemporaries, including Cecil Beaton, Walker Evans, Charles Sheeler, Alfred Stieglitz, and James L. Allen. For the first time, a selection of these photographs is presented alongside the original African objects they feature.

While the influence of African objects on modern painting and sculpture has been explored extensively, this exhibition examines the diverse parallel activities of early-20th-century photography. At the center of this investigation are both well-known and recently discovered photographs by Man Ray, whose images were instrumental in promoting non-Western objects as modern art to an international audience.

“These photographs speak powerfully to our collective past and invite us to look anew at a critical moment in the history of modern art,” says Dorothy Kosinski, director. “It is a timely, if not long overdue, moment to bring to light this neglected chapter of modern art with an exhibition that considers how photography has shaped our understanding of African art while contributing to diverse narratives of modernism.”

Wendy Grossman, photohistorian and exhibition curator, spent nearly two decades examining the relationship between photography and African art. Through this process she uncovered a number of unknown photographs by Man Ray and others which provide new perspectives on this preeminent artist as well as greater insight into the symbiotic process through which African art and photography engaged the dynamics of modernism.

In juxtaposing the photographs with the actual African masks, figures, and headdresses they depict, the exhibition offers a rare opportunity to encounter firsthand how techniques of framing, lighting, camera angle, and cropping evoke radically different interpretations of these objects. The exhibition also fully documents the histories of the individual objects, exploring the original ceremonial and cultural functions that were lost when manipulated to meet Western ideas of beauty and art.

Man Ray was first introduced to African art in 1914 through a seminal exhibition at Alfred Stieglitz’s 291 Gallery. While his 1926 photograph Noire et blanche, which features the model Kiki of Montparnasse posing with an African mask, became an icon of Modernist photography, a large body of his lesser-known work and that of his contemporaries reveals a far more complex engagement with African art.

The exhibition is organized into four sections that place the photographs within the context of diverse modernist perspectives, including the Harlem Renaissance, surrealism, and the worlds of high fashion and popular culture.

African Art American Style
The opening gallery presents an overview of the embrace of African art in the United States in the first decades of the 20th century. Images of African objects by American photographers, ranging from New York avant-garde artists Alfred Stieglitz, Charles Sheeler, and Walker Evans to their Harlem Renaissance counterparts Carl Van Vechten, James Allen, and Marjorie Griffiths, reveal different understandings of African art and culture. The photographs shed light on issues of race, identity, gender, and colonialism influenced by the country’s history of slavery, segregation, and disenfranchisement.

African Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
This section examines the books, avant-garde journals, and popular magazines in which these photographs were reproduced. Advances in printing technologies in the first decades of the 20th century and the burgeoning mass media played a critical role in spreading the vogue for African art, allowing the camera lens to become a prism through which a large audience first experienced African art.

A selection of the little-known photographs of African objects that Man Ray produced for the Danish collector Carl Kjersmeirer are featured for the first time in the United States with nine of the original sculptures. The objects and photographs are accompanied by a copy of Kjersmeirer’s groundbreaking publication, Centres de style de la sculpture ngre Africaine (1935), which illustrates the way photographs of African art challenged the traditional boundaries of photography by blurring the lines between document and art, fact and fiction.

Surrealism and Beyond
The exhibition also explores how the reception of African art intersected with the surrealist movement in which Man Ray actively participated. Photographs and photomontages by artists working in Germany (Marta Hoepffner and Albert Renger- Patzch) and England (Cecil Beaton and Curtis Moffat) are highlighted as well as images of African masks by Czech photographers Josef Sudek and Vaclav Zykmund. Several of Man Ray’s photographs of objects from the South Seas and the Americas are also included.

Fashioning a Popular Reception
First published on the pages of Paris Vogue, Man Ray’s now iconic photograph Noire et blanche popularized African art and introduced the ideas of avant-garde photography to a mainstream audience. Multiple vintage prints and published versions of Noire et blanche are displayed together for the first time, illustrating the complexity of the artist’s photographic practice and underscoring the individuality of each print. Man Ray’s series of fashion photographs featuring models in Congo headdresses—Mode au Congo (1937)—is also featured and displayed with several of the actual headdresses and original magazines in which they appeared.

The exhibition culminates with Henry Music—the 1930 book of original sheet music by the African American jazz composer Henry Crowder that features Man Ray’s photomontage of African ivory, wood, and bronze bracelets on the cover—along with vintage prints of the photographs from which the montage was constructed.

Man Ray
Born Emmanuel Radnitsky in 1890 to Russian-Jewish immigrant parents, Man Ray spent most of his young life in Brooklyn, New York. He initially rose to prominence as a painter and sculptor in the social groups of the New York Dada school during the second decade of the 20th century. Photography was an essential tool for the artistic avant-garde in the United States at this time, and Man Ray took up the medium under the influence of his close friend, Marcel Duchamp. In 1921, Man Ray followed Duchamp to Paris, settling in the Montparnasse quarter favored by many artists. It was there, for the next 20 years, that Man Ray revolutionized the art of photography.

After its presentation at the Phillips, the exhibition will be on view at the University of New Mexico Art Museum (Albuquerque, N.M.) from January 30 to May 23, 2010; the University of Virginia Museum of Art (Charlottesville, Va.) from Aug. 7 to Oct. 10, 2010; and the Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia (Vancouver, British Columbia) from Oct. 29, 2010 to Jan. 23, 2011.

The Phillips Collection | Man Ray | African Art and the Modernist Lens | Marcel Duchamp |


Last Week News

October 9, 2009

Museo del Prado Opens New Galleries Devoted to its 19th-Century Collections

Masterpiece from Damien Hirst's Butterfly Series Sold for HK$17.2 Million

Jeff Koons's Giant Rabbit Balloon Arrives in Covent Garden

Abstract Sculptures by Multi-Media Artist Jack Pierson at Cheim & Read

Philadelphia Art Commission Approves New Designs for Barnes Foundation

First Presentation of Eric Aho's Work at DC Moore Gallery

New York City Artist is $250K Winner of Art Competition

Eight Artists on Shortlist for UK's Biggest Contemporary Art Prize

The March Family Offer the Magnificient Cucci Cabinet

San Jose Museum of Art Unveils New Works by Tam Van Tran, Bari Kumar

Throne of Emperor Qianlong Breaks World Auction Record for Any Chinese Furniture

Views of Hamburg: The City in the Painter's Gaze at Hamburger Kunsthalle

First Time Key Work by Damien Hirst is Shown at Tate St. Ives

Indianapolis Museum of Art Receives Nation's Highest Award for Community Service

Soprano Sills' Estate Sells for More than $500K, Botero Sketch Sells for $27,500

'American Qur'an' Blends US Life, Quranic Verses

Exhibition of Superb Collection of Asian and European Decorative Art Opens in Melbourne

Early Works and Hand Crafted Items Highlight September Auction

Montclair Art Museum Announces a New Mural by Dan Fenelon

British Museum to Submit Revised Plans for World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre

October 8, 2009

Exhibition of Cosmic, Utopian and Experimental Works by Georges Vantongerloo

Egypt Announces It Has Cut Ties with France's Louvre Museum

Caravaggio's "Adoration of the Shepherds" to be Restored in Public

Fashion, Celebrity Photographer Irving Penn Dies at 92

Gagosian Presents an Exhibition of Selected Illustrated Spreads by Ed Ruscha

Hirshhorn Museum Opens Exhibition of Pioneering Figure in American Abstract Art

Newseum Recreates Journalist Tim Russert's Office in Exhibit

Stunning Safavid Rug from Late 16th Century Sold for $4.34 Million

Major Retrospective of Hungarian Artist Lszl Moholy-Nagy at the Schirn

Landmark Sheeler Painting Acquired by Amon Carter Museum

Molten Color: Glassmaking in Antiquity Returns to the Getty Villa

Arts of the Samurai Sale at Christie's New York on October 23

Exhibition of the May Queen's Wedding Chest on View at Bismarck Foundation

Miami's Bacardi Buildings Win Historic Protection

Scribe will Write Out the Entire Text of the Torah at San Francisco Museum

An Insightful Look Into an Important Canadian Photographer's 50 Years Career

Aperture Foundation 2009 Benefit and Auction to be Held at The Lighthouse

The Heckscher Museum of Art Appoints Judith A. Jedlicka Interim Executive Director

William Kentridge and Oleg Kudryashov at The Kreeger Museum

Center Stage Exhibition Commemorates New AT&T Performing Arts Center

October 7, 2009

Over 120 Rarely Exhibited Letters by and to Vincent van Gogh on View

Muse du Quai Branly Opens Exhibition of the Legendary Teotihuacan

LACMA Announces First Exhibition Devoted to Renoir's Late Work

Sotheby's Achieves US$4,680,000 for Sanyu's Masterpiece

Exhibition at Pinacotheque de Paris Focuses on the Dutch 17th Century

Large-Scale Wall Installation by the Artist Chitra Ganesh at P.S. 1

Advocacy Program World Monuments Fund Announces 2010 Watch List

Green Day's Sell Out UK Tour Accompanied by Shoreditch Art Exhibition

Salvador Dal Exhibition Leaves Melbourne a Huge Success

Norton Simon Announces The Familiar Face: Portrait Prints by Rembrandt

Obamas Decorate White House with Modern and Abstract Works of Art

Exhibition Featuring Luo Ping Goes on View at Metropolitan Museum

Modern and Contemporary Sculpture in the Meadows Collection Opens

South Africa's Fantastic Landscapes and People Glow in Bonhams Autumn Sale

Galerie Van den Akker to Exhibit Sixteen Sculptures by Artist Pamela Sunday

Looted Artifacts on Display at Afghan Museum

Sotheby's to Present for the First Time Arab and Iranian Art in Its Main Contemporary Art Auction

Theodor Dalenson and Dimitris Daskalopoulos Elected to Board of Trustees of Guggenheim Foundation

Fountain in New York's Landmark Lincoln Center Restored

I. M. Pei to Receive the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture

Collectors Named as Suspects in California Art Heist

October 6, 2009

Tate Presents Works by Four Artists Shortlisted for Britain's Turner Prize

New Gonzalez-Torres Acquisition Installed on Occasion of Museum's 50th Anniversary

Luxury Brand Louis Vuitton Celebrates Savoir-Faire with Creations by Six Artists

Nefertiti Bust Moved to Berlin's Restored Neues Museum

First Public Viewing of French Drawings from a Celebrated Dutch Collector

Drawings by Pablo Bronstein Featured in Fall Exhibition at the Metropolitan

Over 100 Leading Art Galleries will Participate at London Art Fair 2010

Picasso to Crown Kunsthaus Zrich Exhibition Program in 2010

Entries Now Open for Coveted 100,000 Pound Art Fund Prize

First Comprehensive Museum Exhibition for Jack Goldstein in Germany Since 1985

Special Exhibition Showcases the Work of 11 Contemporary Artists

McDonald's Fast Food Restaurant to Become Mona Lisa's New Neighbor

Paintings Made for The Who by John Davies on View at Idea Generation

National Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires Opens Pop Art Exhibition

Heckscher Museum Celebrates Artists Who have Lived in Long Island

Rhode Island School of Design Publishes First Historical Anthology

Sotheby's to Offer Islamic Works of Art in Paris for the First Time

Images of First Cars to Cross the Himalayas into Tibet 102 Years Ago and Secret Photos of Japan from 1898 for Sale

Distinguished Abstract Expressionist Painter Charles Seliger Dies at 83

October 5, 2009

Severin Wunderman's Collection Stands The Test Of Time At Bonhams

The Spirit of Jazz Arrives at the Getty Images Gallery on London

Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein Opens Modernism as a Ruin: An Archaeology of the Present

Exhibition at the School of Visual Arts Showcases Iconic Advertising and Graphic Design

Comprehensive Survey of German Impressionism to Open at Kunsthalle Bielefeld

BMA Celebrates Edgar Allan Poe's Bicentennial with Spooky Art and Illustrations

Former Director of the Royal Academy of Arts Launches New Company

Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at NYU to Show European Artifacts

Installations by Michel Francois to be Shown at S.M.A.K.

Frick Art Museum Opens Exhibition of Photographs by Esther Bubley

Eight San Francisco Artists Respond to Surrealist Masterworks

Poland Street Underground, an Annual Two-Day Event in London During November

Sims Reed Gallery Acquires Sir Eduardo Paolozzi's Estate of Print Editions

National Portrait Gallery Explores New Forms of Portraiture in Exhibition

'Sooners' Exhibit Explores Oklahoma, New Mexico Art

KGB Studio & Gallery Refocuses Time with Exhibition of Photographs by Luis C. Garza

Meijer Gardens Premiere Major U.S. Retrospective Exhibition of British Sculptor Lynn Chadwick

Exhibition Critically Examines the Unusual and Absurd in Art

Celebrate Sustainable Living at the 2009 Danks Street Festival

Access Awareness Honour for Royal Ontario Museum

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Announces David R. Brigham as New President and CEO

October 4, 2009

Exhibition Built on New Research Focuses on Gauguin's Artistic Development

Soviet Art Photography from the 70s and 80s Opens at Rutgers University

Rubin Museum of Art Presents First Public Showing of Jung's Red Book

The Paintings of Charles Burchfield on View at the Hammer Museum

101 Master Drawings from the Kupferstichkabinett at the Kunstmuseum Basel

Seconds that Made History: Photographs by Harald Schmitt on View in Berlin

Richard Avedon's Fashion Photographs Coming to Detroit Institute of Arts

The Finest Scottish Art and Food Come Together at the National Gallery

Stunning and Significant French Drawings on View at the National Gallery of Art

Exhibition of Icons of American Photography Opens in Pittsburgh

Politicians Beware: Oil Photo Exhibit Opens in Washington

Major Exhibition of 18th Century French Drawings on View at the Morgan Library

Ceramic Museum in Barcelona Shows Chinese Porcelain from the Baur Collection

Royal Academy is Showing Michael Kidner's Dreams of the World Order 1960s

Denver Art Museum Joins Forces to Tell the Story of One of Colorado's Favorite Artists

Groundbreaking Exhibition Explores the Unique and Compelling Art of Ancient Hunters

A Town's Love of Indian Artifacts Backfires

Early Brazilian Plane in Wright Brothers Country

Cranbrook Art Museum Launches Artology: the Fusion of Art and Science

Norman Rockwell Museum Presents "I Am a Part of Art! The Artists of Community Access to the Arts"

The Print Club of Cleveland Celebrates the 25th Annual Fine Print Fair & 90th Anniversary of Club

Hunts for Indian Relics Date to 19th Century

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Scientists at Germany's Karl May Museum weigh returning Native American scalp

2.- Totally Thames launches Florentijn Hofman's first ever UK commission: HippopoThames

3.- Restoring Albrecht Drer's masterpiece The Arch of Honour of Maximilian I

4.- German Consulate in New York presents the work of forgotten 20th century master painter

5.- Cave carving in Gibraltar may be first known example of Neanderthal rock art

6.- Monet discovered in suitcase taken into German hospital by 'Nazi art' hoarder

7.- Gustav Klimt's 'Portrait Adele Bloch-Bauer II' on view at the Museum of Modern Art

8.- Dreadnoughtus: Meet Argentina's supermassive, 85 feet from nose to tail, 'fear nought' dino

9.- Monet's 'Impressionism' birth dated by Texas State University's 'Celestial Sleuth'

10.- 'Chess' man star attraction at tattoo convention in Peru

Related Stories



The Phillips Collection Kicks Off a Year of 90th Anniversary Festivities With a Grand Reopening

The Phillips Collection Releases Official Free App for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

Notable D.C. Chefs Create Art-Inspired Birthday Cakes for the Phillips Collection's 89th Anniversary

The Phillips Collection Joins Forces with The George Washington University

Phillips Collection Names Klaus Ottmann Curator at Large

Rediscover Renowned Masterworks of Early Photography at the Phillips Collection

The Phillips Collection Celebrates 90 Years of Creative Innovation with New Exhibitions

Side by Side: Oberlin's Masterworks at the Phillips Collection

Phillips Collection to Reopen on Saturday, Museum Waives Admission Fees

Phillips Collection to Reopen on Saturday, Museum Waives Admission Fees



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site