Man Ray - Editions New York Tuesday, June 8, 2010 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Literature

    Janus, 1973, no. 137; Penrose, 1975, p. 110, no. 64; Philippe Sers 31; Arturo Schwarz, 1977, p. 218, no. 332; Architectural Digest, 1982, p. 183; Tokyo, 1990-91, p. 19, no. 0-8 and p. 39, no. 36.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Man Ray’s celebrated object of a readymade metronome with a photographic eye affixed to the swinging arm was first created in 1923 and titled Object to be Destroyed. In 1932, the artist made an ink drawing of the object with the following inscription on the reverse: ‘Cut out the eye from the photograph of one who has been loved but is seen no more. Attach the eye to the pendulum of a metronome and regulate the weight to suit the tempo desired. Keep going to the limit of endurance. With a hammer well-aimed, try to destroy the whole at a single blow.’ In the same year, Man Ray exchanged the eye on the metronome for a photograph of Lee Miller’s eye. The bitter instructions on the drawing presumably were motivated by the recent ending of Man Ray’s love affair with Lee Miller. The metronome object became an icon of Man Ray’s work and responding to demand, two further editions were authorized by the artist in 1960s and 1970s, the present object being one of a limited edition of 40 examples with a new title of Perpetual Motif.


Perpetual Motif (Motif perpétuel)

Readymade wooden metronome with lenticular photograph,
9 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 in. (24.1 x 11.4 x 11.4 cm)
signed, dated and numbered 33/40 in black pen on the bottom (there was also an edition of 100 published by Mario Amaya for the New York Cultural Center, 1975), published by Galerie Il Fauno, Turin, 1970, in good condition.

$12,000 - 18,000 


8 June 2010
New York