Man Ray's "Noir et Blanche" courtesy of The Phillips Collection
Theater meets art tonight at The Phillips Collection’s monthly Phillips After Five event, featuring preview scenes from Round House Theatre’s production of Permanent Collection.
In a timely intersection with the Phillips’ current Man Ray exhibit featuring his photographs of African artifacts (closing this wekend!), the play is about a museum director’s “racially charged battle” over an African sculptures exhibit. A discussion on the politics of museum display follows with director Timothy Douglas and Round House producing artistic director Blake Robison, joined by the Phillips’ director Dr. Dorothy Kosinski and exhibit curator Wendy Grossman. That’s an arts powerhouse lineup!
Allyn Johnson will be performing piano pieces by Henry Crowder (Man Ray’s friend) from 5-8pm, the Round House segment is at 6:30pm, and gallery talks on the Man Ray exhibit will be held at 6 and 7pm. The whole event runs from 5-8:30pm with cash bar and tickets are $12. Definitely a great way to say good-bye to the Man Ray exhibit.
Man Ray. Noire et blanche, 1926. Gelatin silver print. The Baltimore Museum of Art, Purchase with exchange funds from the Edward Joseph Gallagher III Memorial Collection; and partial gift of George H. Dalsheimer, BMA 1988.422. Photo: Mitro Hood. © 2009 Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY / ADAGP, Paris
I love Man Ray. There’s something still so – cool – about his photographs, even today in our digital informal age. Hauntingly evocative of my favorite era, I usually rather narrowly think of him in context of 20’s fashion. There’s no better representation of the iconic beauty of that time than his Noire et Blanche, seen above, appearing in 1926 Vogue.
However, there’s another angle to Man Ray’s work that a new exhibit at the Phillips Collection makes plain. Opening this Saturday, May Ray, African Art and the Modernist Lens highlights the link between his work and the movement to promote African artifacts, elevating them to the status of modern art. The exhibit showcases more than 50 photographs by Man Ray, with about 50 more of his contemporaries like Cecil Beaton and Alfred Stieglitz. Several are matched with the original African objects they feature, for the first time, allowing the viewer to make the connection on how photographers can influence perception.
It also features my favorite Man Ray photograph. Continue reading