Tag Archive: Man Ray

Paris aime la photographie II

The exhibition of Joel-Peter Witkin at the Bibliothéque Nationale is not a retrospective, but an arresting exploration of the photographer’s work over three decades. In collaboration with Witkin, the curators of Enfer ou Ciel (Heaven or Hell), on view until July 1, compare many of his most fascinating and well-known images to the library’s exquisite and significant collection of prints. Placed in an art historical context of similar imagery found in the prints of such artists as Albrecht Durer, José de Ribera, Rembrandt, Francesco de Goya, and Pablo Picasso, Witkin’s work is thus tangibly embedded within a tradition of symbolism and mythology, and the pondering of the human condition and its spiritual dimensions by great masters of Western art.

Handel’s Partenope in Sydney

Though perhaps not one of Handel’s finest operas, Mr Alden’s production of Partenope plays up its farcical tendencies past the point of ridiculousness and vulgarity and never really climbs out of the dishwater. A farce, even the silliest one, is still emotional, in fact it depends on emotions, however simple, to work, but it becomes cold when played as a series of jokes without wit. In addition, for some cheap intellectualism, Mr Alden imposes references to Man Ray’s surrealist photography, but forced without honest reason, onto an opera which doesn’t even have any interest in being surreal, they become clunky and arbitrary.

It’s Twilight Time With the Australian Ballet

The Australian Ballet presents three short recent ballets which would seem at the surface to have nothing in common. In At the Edge of Night, first performed in 1997, but last performed 11 years ago, Stephen Baynes sets an impressionist ballet to seven preludes by Rachmaninov. The choreography, set design and costumes share the sensibility of the music, rolling subtly between nostalgia, longing, pining, contemplation, mild remorse, occasionally melancholy, ambivalence, poignant joy and other emotions only the piano can give a name. The brand new ballet, Halcyon by Tim Harbour, sets the Greek myth of Halcyon and Ceyx to dance with original music by Gerard Brophy. It is a particularly relevant myth about love oppressed by religion. The last ballet is Molto Vivace again by Stephen Baynes, first performed in 2003, but completely different in tone. It sets a light-hearted rococo comedy to Handel. All three are liminal, either touching, delving or diving into where phases change. We meet frontiers either as precise as the sea’s surface, or as blurred as half conscious memories, or as completely black and mysterious as that between life and death and the other.

Alias Man Ray: The Art of Reinvention, at the Jewish Museum, New York, November 15, 2009 – March 14, 2010

Alias Man Ray: The Art of Reinvention exhibition catalogue by Mason Klein; with contributions by George Baker, Merry L. Foresta, and Lauren Schell Dickens See also the following exhibition tour (from WNET, Channel 13) by Dr. Klein and this lecture. See…
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La riscoperta di Dada e Surrealismo—introducing Daniel Gallagher, our new Rome correspondent

After a stroll through the Roman Forum, visitors to the Eternal City these days are just a few steps from one of the most impressive and comprehensive exhibitions of dadaistic and surrealistic art ever realized. Noted art historian and theorist Arturo Schwarz, curator of the exhibition underway at the Vittoriano and once owner of many of its pieces (since donated to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem), has brought together over 500 oil paintings, drawings, sculptures, readymades, collages, assemblages, and photomontages to showcase the enormous variety of twentieth-century avant-gardism. Having befriended André Breton, Marcel Duchamp, Jean Arp, and Man Ray, he knows Dada and Surrealism as well as anyone.

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