Sale: 292 / Old Masters and Modern Art/ Marine Art, March 18. 2005 Lot 339

 
Man Ray - Objet indestructible


 
339
Man Ray
Objet indestructible, 1923.
Estimate:
€ 7,000 / $ 8,190
Sold:
€ 7,020 / $ 8.213

(incl. 17% surcharge)
Lot description

Objet indestructible
Readymade wooden metronome with metal paper-clip and photographic eye, 1923 .
On the reverse with a label 'édition MAT collection 65', there signed and numbered 37/100. Titled and inscribed '1923-1965' on a plaque attached to the metronome lid. 22 : 11 cm (8,6 : 4,3 in). Man Ray describes the genesis of this object as follows: ‘The metronome, that little instrument which shows musicians the beat, is really the earliest music, a primitive music. I owned one myself and, when I painted, I let in run, you know, and, like a pianist, I did so and so many strokes while painting, isn’t that so? And the metronome registered everything. I did miss the visual aspect, though. That’s why I attached an eye to the pendulum and, when the eye moved from right to left and from left to right, I had the feeling someone was watching me paint or looking at the picture. Sometimes it might stop and then I knew that the picture was very bad and destroyed it, do you understand? But one day I got my revenge; the metronome began to tick so hard and got on my nerves so much that I took a hammer and smashed it into a thousand pieces. It was, after all, called Objet à détruir [Object to be Destroyed], and it was right for I then destroyed it. But after the great historic retrospectives on Dada I was asked to exhibit the metronome so I put an eye on it and made it run again.’ (quoted in: Man Ray, exhib. cat. Galerie der Stadt Stuttgart, p. 81).

With black wooden base
The key for winding up the metronome and its pendulum show a minimum of rust. The case is slightly dusty. The tip shows minor wear and tear. The photograph is somewhat brown and there are traces of rust in the margins and minuscule worn spots. The paper-clip has probably been replaced and is not the original. [LB]

339
Man Ray
Objet indestructible, 1923.
Estimate:
€ 7,000 / $ 8,190
Sold:
€ 7,020 / $ 8.213

(incl. 17% surcharge)