Four Things You Didn’t Know About Hiroshi Sugimoto

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Hiroshi Sugimoto. Image courtesy of the artist

In a gallery adjacent to Man Ray–Human Equations: A Journey from Mathematics to Shakespeare, you’ll find photographs and sculptures by contemporary Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto. His exhibition at the Phillips, Hiroshi Sugimoto: Conceptual Forms and Mathematical Models, is on view through May 10, 2015.

1) Sugimoto’s work on view at the Phillips is largely inspired by Marcel Duchamp, particularly the Dadaist’s obsession with the mechanics of space and the mathematical foundations of his work.

2) He is best known for his time-exposed photography. Among his most recognized works are his series Theatres, which are shot for the full length of each movie’s projection, and Seascapes, a series of horizon lines formed by bodies of water whose movements have been blurred into stillness by Sugimoto’s long exposures.

3) All of the sculptures on view in this exhibition are derived from infinity equations. As is apparent from his time-exposed photography, time and history are significant themes in Sugimoto’s work, ranging from human time to cosmological time. Each sculpture is to be thought of as infinitely expanding, just as the universe continues to expand from a point of singularity.

4) His sculptures are created using computer-controlled, precision milling machines, and are crafted from solid blocks of aluminum.

Hanging Man Ray’s Obstruction

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Preparators install Man Ray’s Obstruction (1920/editioned replica 1964). Photos: Trish Waters

Installing Man Ray’s Obstruction, a carefully balanced mobile comprising over 60 wooden coat hangers, was no small feat for Phillips preparators. Check out these before and after shots.

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Installation view: Man Ray, Obstruction, 1920/editioned replica 1964. Assisted readymade: 63 wooden coat hangers, 43 5/16 x 47 1/4 x 47 1/4 in. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Gift of Beatrice (Buddy) Mayer, Chicago, to American Friends of the Israel Museum, B84.0027. © Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY / ADAGP, Paris 2015. Photo © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem by Avshalom Avital.

Man Ray, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Mathematical Models

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Installation view of Man Ray-Human Equations: A Journey from Mathematics to Shakespeare

Phillips staff were treated to a tour of Man Ray–Human Equations: A Journey from Mathematics to Shakespeare and Hiroshi Sugimoto: Conceptual Forms and Mathematical Models before they open to the public this Saturday. We snapped some photos along the way; here’s a preview!

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Exhibition Curator Wendy Grossman discusses Man Ray’s “Lampshade.”

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Director of the Center for the Study of Modern Art and Curator at Large Klaus Ottmann gives a preview tour to Phillips staff members of newly installed Hiroshi Sugimoto: Conceptual Forms and Mathematical Models