Kuen Surface Model
11” high x 5” Ø
Made in Germany
The beginning of the 20th century saw increasing complexity in the study of mathematics and it heralded the use of three dimensional models as teaching aids. One of these was the Kuen Surface, a rare example of a surface with constant negative curvature, first described by the German mathematician Alfred Enneper (1830-1885).
In 1936 Man Ray was hired by the art journal Cahiers d’Art to photograph the mathematical models of non-euclidean geometry at the Institut Henri Poincaré in Paris. These models went on to be exhibited alongside many surrealist and modernist works at the Grand Palais. Man Ray’s series of photographs and paintings called Shakespearean Equations contributed to liberating these forms from the isolation of scientific research, and presented to the public the world of mathematical elegance. This accurate representation of the Kuen surface is made in Germany of walnut wood, in a small production run.