Man RayThe Lovers 1933, editioned replica 1973

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Artwork details

Artist
Man Ray (1890‑1976)
Title
The Lovers
Date 1933, editioned replica 1973
MediumLead and rope
Dimensionsobject: 50 x 705 x 380 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by Lucien Treillard 2003
Reference
T07958

Summary

The Lovers, 1933, editioned replica 1973, consists of a rolled lead sheet with the outline of lips painted onto it. A loop of rope extends from one end, suggesting a head, while two other sections of rope, linking the two ends of the lead sheet, complete the suggestion of a body. The piece has also been known with the additional titles ‘Mon Rêve/My Dream’.

The original piece (now lost) was executed after the ending of Man Ray’s passionate, and sometimes tormented, relationship with the beautiful American photographer and model Lee Miller (1907-1977). The lips painted onto the lead piece may have been suggested by a memory of a lipstick imprint of the lips of his former lover Kiki on his collar, but they are recognisably those of Lee, and the object is evidence of his continued longing for her, mingled perhaps with suggestions of suicide (the noose-like rope) and death (the hollow lead ‘case’). The theme of the disembodied lips obsessed Man Ray… (read more)

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