Above is an example of what you’ll see in Man Ray–Human Equations: A Journey from Mathematics to Shakespeare, opening in less than two weeks. The exhibition centers on Man Ray’s (1890–1976) Shakespearean Equations, a series of paintings inspired by photographs of mathematical models he made in Paris in the 1930s. Within the galleries, you’ll see the original mathematical models, Man Ray’s inventive photographs of the objects, and the corresponding Shakespearean Equation painting displayed side-by-side for the first time.
What would you do with your very own little sun? Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen created this solar-powered LED lamp in an effort to get affordable and reliable light to areas across the globe without electricity. Five hours of charging yields three hours of bright light. Learn more at Phillips after 5 on Feb. 6, where we’ll be screening a short film on the Little Sun Project, and join in on some Twitter trivia for a chance to win one!
The February Phillips after 5 celebrates all things light with the Nordic embassies, from innovative Nordic lamp design to gallery talks on how artists use light in their work to an aurora borealis-inspired light show outside of the museum and in the Music Room. Follow the Phillips on Twitter that evening and answer #NordicLights trivia questions for a chance to win one of five Little Sun lamps (and other fun prizes).
At last night’s Phillips after 5, Michael Garstang, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Virginia’s Department of Environmental Sciences provided his perspective on the Kirkeby exhibition. He began his talk by making connections between art and science saying, “Both fields draw upon creativity as the prime motive. . . both are products of infinite, incremental steps, and both must be founded upon a preconceived framework.”
Garstang talked about the infinite process of sedimentation, laying down grain by grain to form layers, strata, and structures in his discussion of this untitled work, which Kirkeby painted in 2006. He interpreted the parallel bands at the center of the canvas as possible “fossilized tree trunks,” citing Kirkeby’s writings on trees in which the artist explains, “I don’t think I have ever drawn a whole tree.” Despite the painting’s framework, Garstang noted that Kirkeby “interrupted the form with discordant shapes juxtaposed with a sphere.” He wondered “Is it detritus? Glacial till? Blue ice?” Like Kirkeby, Garstang was reluctant to interpret the end result saying, “I’ll let you sort this one yourselves.”