Man Ray - Human Equations

Man Ray

Human Equations: A Journey from Mathematics to Shakespeare

Man Ray–Human Equations: A Journey from Mathematics to Shakespeare explores the intersection of art and math that defined a significant component of modern art at the beginning of the 20th century.

Working in Hollywood in the late 1940s, Man Ray (American, 1890–1976) created the Shakespearean Equations, a series of paintings that he considered to be the peak of his creative vision. Drawing on photographs of 19th-century mathematical models he made in the 1930s, the series was a culmination of 15 years of exploration of the theme in a variety of mediums.Man Ray–Human Equations displays side-by-side for the first time the original plaster, wood, papier-mâché, and string models from the Institut Henri Poincaré in Paris, Man Ray’s inventive photographs of these unusual forms, and the Shakespearean Equations paintings they inspired.

Using the Prism.K12 learning strategies, explore interdisciplinary ways to understand Man Ray's artistic process and interest in the subjects of mathematics and Shakespearean literature. 

Man Ray (1890 – 1976)

Man Ray began his artistic career as a painter and collage artist, showing interest in abstracted forms, flattened surfaces, and layered planes with shallow space. He quickly became known in artistic circles as “defiant of artistic convention,” and always sought to push the boundaries with his art.

Learn more about Man Ray's life.