Icons of Surrealism Including Man Ray’s ‘Minotaur’

Saturday, March 24, 2018
Icons of Surrealism Including Man Ray’s ‘Minotaur’

Sotheby’s spring auction of Photographs on 10 April in New York.

Sotheby’s spring auction of Photographs on 10 April in New York comprises a wide selection of exceptional works tracing the beginnings of the medium to innovations of the present day. Of special note are masterpieces of early photography by William Henry Fox Talbot, E. J. Bellocq, experimental 1920s and 1930s photographs by Man Ray, Stefan Themerson, Pierre Dubreuil, as well as important contemporary works by Brigid Berlin, David Wojnarowicz, Vito Acconci, Cindy Sherman, Sandy Skoglund, Katy Grannan, and Thomas Demand. More than 160 works with estimates ranging from $1,000 to $250,000 will be on view in our New York galleries beginning on 4 April.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Man Ray experimented with imagery in which the sitter’s gender is intentionally ambiguous and, in some cases, the human body is wholly transformed into a sexually-charged object. In his 1933 interpretation of the Minotaur (above, estimate $150/250,000), Man Ray goes well beyond classic mythology, fashioning the bull’s head out of the shadowy contours of a woman’s body; her breasts act as eyes, the concavity of her stomach as mouth, and her raised arms as horns. Now an icon of Surrealism, Minotaur has been included in nearly every major modern exhibition about Man Ray and illustrated in all significant monographs on the artist. Though highly reproduced, no other print of this image has been located.

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Museo Jumex (a private art collection based in Mexico City, Mexico) / David Chipperfield. Image © Simon Menges

Museo Jumex (a private art collection based in Mexico City, Mexico) / David Chipperfield. Image © Simon Menges

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