Exhibition Curator Wendy Grossman introduces Man Ray–Human Equations: A Journey from Mathematics to Shakespeare, on view at The Phillips Collection February 7 through May 10, 2015.
Working in Hollywood in the late 1940s, Man Ray (1890–1976) created Shakespearean Equations, a series of paintings he considered to be the pinnacle of his creative vision. This culmination of years of work across media was inspired by photographs of mathematical models he made in Paris in the 1930s. Featuring over 100 pieces, this exhibition displays side-by-side for the first time the original mathematical models, Man Ray’s inventive photographs of the objects, and the surrealist-inflected Shakespearean Equations, connecting his approach to geometric forms with his other works that relate inanimate objects with the human body. Man Ray’s inquisitive spirit and mastery of transforming three-dimensional objects into two-dimensional imagery is revealed in this exploration of the intersections of art and science.