Around Town: Mad About Man Ray

by Erica Moody

The exhibition “Man Ray—Human Equations” opened at the Phillips Collection with a private reception.  

By Erica Moody 


George Vradenburg, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Dorothy Kosinski and Suzanne Wright (Photo by Pepe Gomez, PixelMeStudio)

Art lovers and benefactors gathered at the Phillips Collection earlier this week to preview the exhibition, “Man Ray — Human Equations: A Journey from Mathematics to Shakespeare.”


Man Ray, Julius Caesar, 1984, from The Rosalind & Melvin Jacobs Collection, New York. © Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY / ADAGP, Paris 2014

The renowned Surrealist and Dadaist visual artist’s paintings from his collection “Shakespearean Equations” are displayed for the first  time with the original mathematical models that inspired both the series and Ray’s photographs of the objects.

The exhibition also features five photographs and three sculptures by Japanese contemporary artist Hiroshi Sugimoto, whose photographs of 19th-century mathematical plaster models were inspired by Man Ray.

The night included a cocktail reception with remarks from museum chairman George Vradenburg and director Dorothy Kosinski. Exhibitions such as these “constantly provide a continuing intellectual refreshment,” Vradenberg said before joking that he was a mathematics major “up until my sophomore year.”
Washington Life's "InstaManRay" attempt (Photo by Erica Moody)

Washington Life’s “InstaManRay” attempt (Photo by Erica Moody)

In addition to viewing the art, guests were invited to explore Man Ray’s artistic process by making our own photographs of mathematical models and utilizing Instagram to add artistic effects, with “InstaManRay.”

Among those in attendance were: Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, District Councilmember David Grosso, D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ Commissioner MaryAnn Miller, Carol Brown Goldberg, Trish VradenburgRoz Jacobs, Peggy Jacobs Bader, Wendy Grossman, Mark Green, Florence Fasanelli, Loretta DowneyJessica Marventano and John Greathouse.

“Man Ray-Human Equations” opens to the public on Saturday, Feb.7 and runs through May 10, 2015.

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