402
402

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE BRITISH COLLECTION

Man Ray
OBJET INDESTRUCTIBLE
Estimate
15,00020,000
LOT SOLD. 47,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
402

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE BRITISH COLLECTION

Man Ray
OBJET INDESTRUCTIBLE
Estimate
15,00020,000
LOT SOLD. 47,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

|
London

Man Ray
1890 - 1976
OBJET INDESTRUCTIBLE
signed Man Ray, numbered 63/100 and printed édition MAT, Collection 65 on a label affixed to the metronome; printed with the title and date 1923-1965 on a metal plaque affixed to the metronome lid
Readymade metronome with black-and-white photograph and original presentation box
height: 21.5cm., 8 1/2 in.
Originally conceived in 1923. This version conceived in 1933 and executed by Daniel Spoerri (édition MAT) in 1965 in a numbered edition of 100.
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Andrew Strauss and Timothy Baum of the Man Ray Expertise Committee have confirmed the authenticity of this work and that it will be included in the Catalogue of the Objects and Sculpture of Man Ray, currently in preparation.

Provenance

Sale: Christie's, South Kensington, 11th December 2003, lot 98
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner

Literature

Roland Penrose, Man Ray, London, 1975, no. 64, illustration of an earlier version n.p.
Arturo Schwarz, Man Ray: The Rigour of Imagination, London, 1977, nos. 329 & 332, illustrations of earlier versions p. 218
Jean-Hubert Martin, Brigitte Hermann & Rosalind Krauss (eds.), Man Ray, Object de mon affection, Paris, 1983, no. 31, illustration of an earlier version titled Objet à détruire p. 46

Catalogue Note

Man Ray first conceived of a metronome with a photograph of an eye affixed to the pendulum in 1923 and titled the work Objet à détruire. The artist later recalled the fate of this original object: 'I always worked to a metronome when I was painting - just like a piano player would - the pendulum's rhythm would regulate the rhythm of my brushstrokes. But I still needed an audience, so I attached a photo of an eye to the pendulum and as it swung I had the impression that someone was watching me paint - or indeed scrutinising my paintings. Sometimes the metronome stopped, and then I knew that my painting was awful and I would destroy it... But one day I had had enough - the metronome stopped and I was so infuriated that I took a hammer and broke it into a million pieces - after all it was called Object to Destroy... so I destroyed it' (quoted in Schwarz, op. cit., p. 142 (translated from the French)).

In 1933, responding to a number of requests, Man Ray re-made the object. However, the preceding year he had been left by his lover Lee Miller and so re-modelled the object with a photo of Miller's eye. Publishing a drawing of his object in This Quarter, he included the following instructions: 'Cut out the eye from a photograph of one who has been loved but is seen no more. Attach the eye to the pendulum of a metronome and regulate the weight to suit the tempo desired. Keep doing to the limit of endurance. With a hammer well-aimed, try to destroy the whole at a single blow' (This Quarter, vol. I, September 1932, p. 55).

In 1965, Man Ray collaborated with Daniel Spoerri to produce an edition of 100 of these objects. This edition he re-named Objet indestructible. Another example from this edition is in the collection of Tate Modern, London.

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

|
London