Major spring exhibition: Brancusi, Rosso, Man Ray - Framing Sculpture

Man Ray, Noire et blanche (Black and white), 1926, Black and white photographic print. © Man Ray Trust / ADAGP, c/o Pictoright Amsterdam 2013. © Man Ray Trust / ADAGP - PICTORIGHT / Telimage - 2013. Constantin Brancusi, La Muse endormie (Sleeping muse),1910, bronze, 16.1 x 27.7 x 19.3 cm. Arthur Jerome Eddy Memorial Collection. Photography © The Art Institute of Chicago. Medardo Rosso, Enfant malade (Sick child), c.1909, aristotype, 7.9 x 6.3 cm. Archivio Medardo Rosso Barzio. Constantin Brancusi, Princesse X (Princess X), 1915-1916, bronze, 61.7 x 40.5 x 22.2 cm. Collection Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Paris. Photo Adam Rzepka. Constantin Brancusi, Princesse X (Princess X), c. 1930, gelatin silver print, 29.7 x 23.7 cm. Collection Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Paris. Photo Bertrand Prévost. Man Ray, L'Énigme d'Isidore Ducasse (The Riddle of Isidore Ducasse),1920(1971). Collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. © Man Ray Trust / ADAGP, c/o Pictoright Amsterdam 2013. Man Ray, L'Énigme d'Isidore Ducasse,1920(1975), 47.5 x 59 cm. Courtesy Fondazione Marconi, Milan. © Man Ray Trust / ADAGP, c/o Pictoright Amsterdam 2013.

Press Release

Major spring exhibition: Brancusi, Rosso, Man Ray - Framing Sculpture
25 July 2013

In the spring of 2014 Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen brings together works from all over the world by three artists who were decisive for the development of modern art: Constantin Brancusi, Medardo Rosso and Man Ray. This is the first exhibition to combine works by these famous sculptors together with their photographs, affording a unique insight into the artists’ working methods.

Masterpieces that have rarely or never been seen in the Netherlands will be lent by important museums such as the Centre Pompidou, MoMA and Tate Modern. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will show 40 sculptures and more than 60 photographs by Constantin Brancusi (Hobiţa 1876 - Paris 1957), Medardo Rosso (Turin 1858 - Milan 1928) and Man Ray (Philadelphia 1890 - Paris 1976). The exhibition will feature sculptures such as Brancusi’s ‘Bird in Space’ (1941) and Rosso’s ‘Ecce Puer’ (1906) alongside works by Man Ray from the museum’s collection, including the sculpture ‘The Enigma of Isidore Ducasse’ (1920/1971). Presenting the sculptures together with the artists’ photographs reveals their often-surprising perspectives on their own works.

Framing sculpture
All three artists lived in Paris at the beginning of the 20t th century and all three documented their own sculptures extensively through photography. The photographs show how they interpreted their sculptures and how they wanted them to be seen by others. Brancusi is considered the father of modern sculpture with his highly simplified sculptures of people and animals. In his photographs he experimented with light and reflection so that his sculptures absorb their environment and appear to come to life. Rosso is the artist who introduced impressionism in sculpture. The indistinct contours of his apparently quickly modelled figures in plaster and wax make them appear to fuse with their surroundings. Rosso cut up the soft-focus photographs of his work, made them into collages and reworked them with ink so that the sculptures appear even flatter and more contourless. Man Ray is best known as a photographer but was also a painter and sculptor. His choice of materials was unconventional: he combined existing objects to create new works, comparable to the ‘readymades’ of his friend Marcel Duchamp. Man Ray’s experimental use of photography led him to make photographs without the use of a camera. He made these so-called ‘rayographs’ by placing objects directly on photographic paper and exposing them briefly to light, leaving behind a ghostly impression.

Through the eyes of the artist
The photographs of Brancusi, Rosso and Man Ray give the public the opportunity to see the sculptures through the artists’ own eyes. Three multimedia presentations, including projections and animations, will use modern digital techniques to replicate the artists’ explorations of form.

Boijmans Tour and more
The exhibition invites visitors to explore the artists’ working methods. A specially developed multimedia Boijmans Tour will examine several works in depth and allow visitors to upload a photo or video or leave a comment. The museum will organise two afternoon events with courses and workshops for adults and children. A church service will offer a unique reflection on the exhibition, and the museum will organise an art-historical lunch with recipes from the artists themselves. An introductory video will be posted on A richly illustrated catalogue in English, Dutch and German with contributions from international experts will be available from the museum shop and via

With thanks to
The exhibition 'Brancusi, Rosso, Man Ray – Framing Sculpture' has been made possible by the Turing Foundation (Turing Toekenning 2013), the Boijmans Business Club, the VSBfonds, het Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds (made possible by Breeman Talle Fonds), the Mondriaan Fund, AON, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science for the indemnity grant and the Kring Van Eyck.