Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Can Lee Miller Ever Be More than Man Ray’s Muse?

“I don’t have students,” Man Ray allegedly told Lee Miller when she finally tracked the Surrealist down in a Parisian bar after he eluded her visit to his front door looking for tutelage. Miller became Man Ray’s student, then his lover, then his muse, and, eventually, as Man Ray/Lee Miller, Partners in Surrealism, a new exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum, argues, his equal partner. A victim of her own beauty (her husband, artist Roland Penrose, compared meeting Lee for the first time to being “struck by lightning”), Miller continues to toil under the label of “muse” that diminishes her own artistry. This exhibition lifts that label and strikes you with the lightning bolt of realization that Miller and Man Ray developed a deep, profound relationship on multiple levels—artistic, emotional, and philosophical—that we’re still trying to understand. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Can Lee Miller Ever Be More than Man Ray’s Muse?"

[Image: Man Ray (1890–1976); A l’heure de l’observatoire–les amoureux (Observatory Time–The Lovers), 1964, after a canvas of c.1931; Color photograph; 19 5/8 x 48 3/4 in. (50 x 124 cm); The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; © 2011 Man Ray Trust/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris/ Photo © The Israel Museum by Avshalom Avital.]

[Many thanks to the Peabody Essex Museum for providing me with a review copy of the catalog and other press materials related to Man Ray/Lee Miller, Partners in Surrealism, which runs through December 4, 2011.]

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