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L'enigme d'Isidore Ducasse

L'enigme d'Isidore Ducasse

Man Ray (in 1920 (1971))

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Man Ray originally made this work for a photograph. The object was lost and in 1971 he made this new version. The mysterious object has an equally mysterious title, which refers to the author Isidor Ducasse, who worked under the pseudonym Comte de Lautréamont. He wrote one of the surrealists' favourite books: 'Les Chants de Maldoror' (1869). They saw this strange and unfathomable book as a kind of manifesto. It was a source of titles for several surrealist works.

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Collection book

Collection book Order


Title L'enigme d'Isidore Ducasse
Material and technique Wood, fabric, rope, cardboard, metal, offset on paper and invisible object
Object type
Sculpture > Three-dimensional object > Art object
Location This object is in storage
Dimensions Width 60 cm
Height 45,5 cm
Depth 24 cm
Artists Artist: Man Ray
Publisher: Galleria Schwarz
Accession number BEK 1491 (MK)
Credits Purchased 1972
Department Modern Art
Acquisition date 1972
Creation date in 1920 (1971)
Entitled parties © Man Ray Trust / ADAGP, c/o Pictoright Amsterdam 2018
Provenance Artist’s proof from an edition of 10 copies and 3 artist’s proofs, published by Galleria Schwarz, Milan 1971; artist’s collection, 1972
Exhibitions Rotterdam/Paris/Humlebaek 1971-72; Berlin/London 1993; Antwerp 1994; London 1995; Drachten 1998; London/New York 2001-02; Paris/Düsseldorf 2002; London/Rotterdam/Bilbao 2007-2008; Rotterdam 2013-14a; Rotterdam 2014b; Rotterdam 2017b
Internal exhibitions The Collection Enriched (2011)
Brancusi, Rosso, Man Ray - Framing Sculpture (2014)
Een paraplu, een naaimachine en een ontleedtafel. Surrealisme à la Dalí in Rotterdam. (2013)
Alles kids (2016)
De collectie als tijdmachine (2017)
Collectie - surrealisme (2017)
External exhibitions Behind the Curtain. Concealment and Revelation since the Renaissance (2016)
Dal nulla al sogno (2018)
Dalí, Magritte, Man Ray and Surrealism. Highlights from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (2023)
Only the Marvelous is Beautiful (2022)
Surrealist Art - Masterpieces from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (2021)
A Surreal Shock – Masterpieces from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (2021)
A Surreal Shock. Masterpieces from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (2023)
IMAGINE! 100 Years of International Surrealism (2024)
Research Show research Digitising Contemporary Art
Show research A dream collection - Surrealism in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Literature New York/Los Angeles/Chicago 1968, p. 31, fig. 32; Rotterdam/Paris/Humlebaek 1971-72, p. 144, cat. no. 143; Munich 1973-74, p. 203, cat. no. 81; Penrose 1975, p. 178; Schwarz 1977, pp. 283-84; Man Ray 1980, pp. 180-181, cat. no. 6; Man Ray/Martin 1983, cat. no. 27; Drachten 1998, cat. no. 20; London/Rotterdam/Bilbao 2007-08, pp. 262-63, cat. no. 5; Rotterdam 2007, pp. 36-37; Kamien-Kazhdan 2012, p. 109; Rotterdam 2014, pp. 208-09, cat. no. 42
Offset print > Mechanical > Planographic printing > Printing technique > Technique > Material and technique
Geographical origin The United States of America > North America > America

All about the artist

Man Ray

Philadelphia 1890 - Parijs 1976

The American artist Emmanuel Radnitzky, who would call himself Man Ray, began his career as engraver and advertising designer. In New York he got to know the...

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