The beginning of the 20th century saw increasing complexity in the study of mathematics and it heralded the use of three-dimensional models as teaching aids. One of these was the Kuen Surface, a rare example of a surface with constant negative curvature, first described by the German mathematician Alfred Enneper (1830-1885).
In 1936 Man Ray was hired by the art journal Cahiers d’Art to photograph the mathematical models of non-euclidean geometry at the Institut Henri Poincaré in Paris. These models went on to be exhibited alongside many surrealist and modernist works at the Grand Palais. Man Ray’s series of photographs and paintings called Shakespearean Equations contributed to liberating these forms from the isolation of scientific research and presented to the public the world of mathematical elegance.
This accurate representation of the Kuen surface is made in Germany of walnut wood, in a small production run.
Emmanuel Radnitzky, by far better known by his iconic pseudonym of Man Ray, was an American artist whose innovative work established him as the leading figure behind the concepts of Dada and Surrealism, as well as for the rest of the early avant-garde art. Heavily influenced by the artworks of European authors such as Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, Radnitzky was one of the few American artists to truly be accepted as the leading source of creative ideas on the Old Continent. Among his numerous contributions to the world of art, Man Ray’s greatest achievement was the way he was able to manipulate the medium of photography by introducing the artistic potentials of different processes, such as solarization and rayographs (a special eponym for his photograms). Emmanuel Radnitzky once famously stated that he does not photograph nature, but his own visions – this was the main driving force behind all art Man Ray created.