Man Ray’s oil on canvas painting, A L’Heure De L’Observatoire – Les Amoureux, created between 1932-1934, is considered one of the quintessential Surrealist artworks. The painting features a depiction of the lips of Lee Miller, Man Ray’s departed lover, and is an example of isomorphism – using organic forms to refer obliquely to man. Man Ray was an American avant-garde artist and leading figure in the Dada and Surrealist movements who worked with multiple media, including photography, sculpture, film, prints and poetry.
Observatory Time – The Lovers has been lauded for its ability to convey a sense of human emotion through non-representational imagery. The piece has become one of the most significant works in Modern art history due to its connection between obscurity and sensuality. It seems as though Man Ray was fascinated by his muse Lee Miller’s mouth because she often featured in his photographic work from this time period as well.
In 2019 at auction a work by Man Ray achieved a price of GBP 30,000 indicating that there is still considerable interest in this artist’s work beyond just the confines of art critique circles. Aspiring artists may study this piece carefully as it provides an opportunity not only to learn important technical skills associated with creating visual art but also serves as inspiration for those looking for meaningful subject matter around which they can build their own artistic practice.