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Untitled (Akan goldweight)

Man Ray, Untitled (Akan goldweight) (1933), [Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver BC, Oct 30-Jan 23] ©2010 Man Ray Trust/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

Man Ray, African Art and the Modernist Lens

Museum of Anthropology
Vancouver BC – Oct 30, 2010-Jan 23, 2011

Man Ray, Untitled (A’quaba figure, Akan)

Man Ray, Untitled (A’quaba figure, Akan) (1930), mixed media installation [Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver BC, Oct 30-Jan 23] ©2010 Man Ray Trusts/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York ADAGP, Paris. ©The Newark Museum/Licensed by Scala/Art Resource, NY

Untitled (Bamileke figure, njuindem, “Bangwa Queen,” Bangwa Kingdom, Cameroon)

Man Ray, Untitled (Bamileke figure, njuindem, “Bangwa Queen,” Bangwa Kingdom, Cameroon) (c. 1934), [Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver BC, Oct 30-Jan 23] © 2010 Man Ray Trust/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

Man Ray, African Art, and the Modernist Lens is an exhibit of more than 50 black-and-white photographs of African objects taken by American artist Man Ray (1890-1976) over a 20-year period. They are shown with approximately 50 photographs by his contemporaries Charles Sheeler, Walker Evans, Alfred Stieglitz, and André Kertész. The exhibit also presents some of the original African objects alongside their featured photos, as well as books, avant-garde journals and popular magazines that illustrate how African art was showcased and promoted in the Western world.

African sculptures and artifacts had an enormous influence on Modernist artists, particularly in Europe. Isolated from their cultures, the small pieces variously signified the nobility, exoticness or savagery of African cultures, served as trophies of war, or symbolized a pre-colonial state of grace. The photographs emphasize the way in which Western thinking has shaped our vision and interpretation of Africa and its art, both now and then. In addition to providing fresh insight into the photographic practices of Man Ray and his contemporaries, the exhibit raises questions about the representation, reception, and perception of African art as mediated by the camera lens.

A catalogue by curator Wendy Grossman, ManRay, African Art, and the Modernist Lens, the result of her 20-year study of the genre, focuses on the politics of representation in photographs. The travelling exhibit was organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC and funded in part by grants from the Terra Foundation for American Art, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Dedalus Foundation.

www.moa.ubc.ca

Mia Johnson

Man Ray, Noire et blanche (negative version)

Man Ray, Noire et blanche (negative version) (1926), [Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver BC, Oct 30-Jan 23] ©2010 Man Ray Trust/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris


 Thu, Nov 4, 2010