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EXHIBITIONS

Brancusi, Rosso, Man Ray “Framing Sculpture” at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

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The work of three of the most influential artists of the twentieth century is currently on view in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen: Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957), Medardo Rosso (1858-1928) and Man Ray (1890-1976). Masterpieces will be flown in from top collections all over the world, including the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. They include iconic sculptures never shown in the Netherlands, such as Brancusi’s ‘Princesse X’ (1915-16) and ‘Colonne sans fin’ (1918). Brancusi, Rosso and Man Ray all used photography in an innovative way in their work. A group of forty sculptures and more than sixty photographs that the artists took of their sculptures afford a unique insight into their artistic practice.
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After 1900 technical developments made photography easier and more affordable and therefore accessible to more people. At the beginning of the twentieth century, artists increasingly sought a new language of forms in photography. Brancusi, Rosso and Man Ray employed photography not so much as a means of recording their work as a way of making clear how observers should view and interpret their works. They used experimental techniques such as overexposure, innovative camera angles and blurring the foreground or background. Brancusi, for example, photographed his works in direct sunlight so that the polished bronze flashes dramatically in the photographs. He would not allow anyone else to photograph his sculptures so that the representation of his work remained entirely in his own hands. Rosso manipulated his photographic prints by re-photographing them, cutting and writing on them. While Man Ray embraced a more versatile approach, he explored a cameraless photography technique by placing objects directly onto the phographic paper. The exhibition shows how even at the beginning of the twentieth century these three artists were preoccupied, each in his own way, with themes of representation and manipulation: themes that are considered very contemporary.

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at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

until 11 May 2014

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Above – Man Ray, Rayographie (Rayografie), 1925

Constantin Brancusi, Princesse X (Prinses X), ca. 1930

Man Ray, Noire et blanche (Zwart en wit), 1926

Medardo Rosso, Enfant malade (Ziek kind), ca. 1909

Medardo Rosso, Enfant malade (Ziek kind), 1895 (1903-1904)

Man Ray, L’Énigme d’Isidore Ducasse (Het raadsel van Isidore Ducasse), 1920

Man Ray, L’Énigme d’Isidore Ducasse (Het raadsel van Isidore Ducasse), 1920

Medardo Rosso, Enfant à la Bouchée de pain (Kind in de gaarkeuken), 1897

Brancusi, Rosso, Man Ray “Framing Sculpture” installation views at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 2014

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Courtesy: Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Paris; Collection Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan; Collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome; Man Ray Trust / ADAGP; Pictoright Amsterdam. Photo: Gert-Jan de Rooij, Amsterdam.

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