Phare de la Harpe. Iron ready-made with chrome finish. 170x110 mm; 6 3/4x4 3/8 inches. Edition of 50. Incised with the artist's signature, title and date. 1921-67.
We have found only one other example of this work at auction: sold Christie's, London, December 7, 1999, lot 278; to Dr. Arthur Brandt, New York; sold Sotheby's, Paris, October 21, 2017, lot 129.
Schwarz 337; Martin 165.
Andrew Strauss and Timothy Baum of the Man Ray Expertise Committee have confirmed the authenticity of this work and that the edition will be included in the Catalogue of Objects & Sculptures of Man Ray, currently in preparation. Man Ray Expertise Committee reference: 00188-O-2021.
Provenance: Acquired from Julien Levy, New York.
Exhibited: "Man Ray: Objects of My Affection," Zabriskie Gallery, New York, January 23-February 23, 1985.
Just as Duchamp found success in re-creating his readymades at Galleria Schwarz in Milan in the 1960s and 70s, Man Ray also had multiples made from his lost original objects. The two artists worked closely with Arturo Schwarz in these replications, with the knowledge that the multiples would allow the artist to hold more complete exhibitions of his œuvre and further his legacy.
In order to defamiliarize the viewer with an object, Man Ray used repetition with some variation. To subvert the meaning of a hand iron, Man Ray used the iconic Cadeau, an iron with tacks affixed to the sole in 1921. To reference the original readymade and its later replicas, Man Ray later created two other iron readymades, Le Fer rouge (1966) and Phare de la harpe (1967). Keeping in the Dada tradition, the title of the present work is an anagram, an exercise in visual and literal meaning.