Mary Gill, c. 1920's
Mary Gill, c. 1920's
Mr. & Mrs. Woodman in front of the TV, 1975
Mr. & Mrs. Woodman in front of the TV, 1975
Adam and Eve (Marcel Duchamp and Bronia Perlmutter-Claire), 1924
Adam and Eve (Marcel Duchamp and Bronia Perlmutter-Claire), 1924
Rayograph (Projet pour une tapisserie), 1925-26
Rayograph (Projet pour une tapisserie), 1925-26
Peggy Guggenheim, Paris, 1924
Peggy Guggenheim, Paris, 1924
Dora Maar, 1936
Dora Maar, 1936
Portrait of Nancy Cunard, 1926
Portrait of Nancy Cunard, 1926
La Glissiere de Marcel Duchamp, 1917
La Glissiere de Marcel Duchamp, 1917
Rayograph, c. 1922-25
Rayograph, c. 1922-25
Solarization, Paris, 1926
Solarization, Paris, 1926
Untitled (male nude), 1930
Untitled (male nude), 1930
Rayograph (Et Bain) [Nude with Speckles], 1930
Rayograph (Et Bain) [Nude with Speckles], 1930
Lee Miller in "Le Sang d'un Poète", 1930
Lee Miller in "Le Sang d'un Poète", 1930
Rayograph, 1924
Rayograph, 1924
Dora Maar, 1936
Dora Maar, 1936
Untitled (rayograph) ("Essai pour le livre d'Adonis Kyrov"), 1951-52
Untitled (rayograph) ("Essai pour le livre d'Adonis Kyrov"), 1951-52
Lee Miller, c. 1930
Lee Miller, c. 1930
Untitled (Starfish Rayograph), 1923
Untitled (Starfish Rayograph), 1923
Nude with Raised Arm, 1926
Nude with Raised Arm, 1926
James Joyce, 1922
James Joyce, 1922
André Breton, 1931
André Breton, 1931
Untitled (Abstraction), 1922
Untitled (Abstraction), 1922
Meret Oppenheim, 1933
Meret Oppenheim, 1933
Meret Oppenheim, 1933
Meret Oppenheim, 1933
Meret Oppenheim, 1933
Meret Oppenheim, 1933
Rayograph (Electricité), 1930
Rayograph (Electricité), 1930
Nude, Untitled, c. 1928-29
Nude, Untitled, c. 1928-29
André Breton, 1930
André Breton, 1930
Max Ernst, 1934
Max Ernst, 1934
Self-Portrait, c. 1936
Self-Portrait, c. 1936
All Detail
Previous
 / 
Next

Press

View

The New Yorker

7 June 2010

MAN RAY

There are a number of famous photographs in this exhibition of Man Ray's work from Paris: Nancy Cunard, her arms stacked with African bracelets; Peggy Guggenheim, cigarette holder aloft; Max Ernst reflected in shattered glass. But many more are less familiar, and all of them look especially brilliant—and definitively avant-garde—in this elegant installation. Along with these iconic portraits (and ones of Lee Miller, Dora Maar, and André Breton) are male and female nudes, a rich array of the abstract photograms the artist called rayographs, and a 1975 sequence of segmented wooden dolls posed before a grainy TV screen which could earn him a place among the Pictures Generation. Through June 26. (Houk, 745 Fifth Ave., at 57th St. 212-750-7070.)

Download PDF (273 K)

Man Ray

Paris


May 6 - June 26, 2010
New York

Edwynn Houk Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of vintage and early prints by Man Ray (1890 – 1976). He would live in New York, Paris, and Hollywood, yet his happiest and most productive years were spent in Paris, and it is from these that the exhibition draws its work. It offers a glimpse of the full range of photography that Man Ray created in the period, from portraiture to the more experimental solarizations, and the famous "rayographs," to which he gave his own name. An artist whose career tapped into Modernism, Dada, Surrealism, and the avant-garde, he is recognized as one of the most prescient and influential figures in twentieth century art.

Born in 1890, to a family of Russian Jewish immigrants in Philadelphia, Emmanuel Radnisky was raised in Brooklyn's Williamsburg. He was shaped as an artist by the arrival of Modernism in America in the 1910s, and he soon befriended the likes of Marcel Duchamp and Alfred Stieglitz. He was inspired by Stieglitz's profound belief in the photograph as an appropriate medium for modern art. Yet he also poured his creative energy into commercial work, and when he moved to Paris, in 1921, he earned his livelihood by working in fashion and commercial portrait photography, mostly for Harper's Bazaar and Vanity Fair. He also quickly became the unofficial photographer of the city's avant-garde, capturing some of the most iconic images of literary and artistic figures such as James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway. He often supplied wry observations on his subjects and their occupations: his portrait of Duchamp has the artist standing behind the Water Mill from his iconic The Large Glass; and his solarized portrait of Surrealism's impresario, André Breton, shows his body and hair taking on a silvered, ghostlike appearance. And his portraits of women often depict them as exotic creatures: such as Peggy Guggenheim in a gown by Poiret, from 1924, and in Dora Maar, her portrait is juxtaposed with a miniature set of hands.

Unlike Brassaï or Cartier Bresson, who took inspiration from the streets of Paris, Man Ray was happiest in his studio, using photography to invent the strange and startling. Man Ray liked to tinker and experiment - both with the subjects of the portraits, using dramatic effects of light and shadow, and with the objects of his pictures, blending everyday objects and debris from around the studio – and for this photography was perfect. Perhaps the culmination of this experimental spirit was his "rayographs," in which objects were placed directly on photographic paper and then exposed to light. Tangible objects become immaterial ghosts, and the most prosaic items, like a candle or a handkerchief, are rendered almost unrecognizable.

Throughout Man Ray's time in Paris, he straddled between several contradictory worlds and never fully subscribed himself to one particular type: being either an American or a European, being a commercial photographer versus a prolific avant-garde artist. It's the insouciant spirit of the Parisian Surrealist and Dadaist groups in which Man Ray worked and socialized that had a profound impact on his work and on his character, liberating the young artist.

Man Ray had his first US shows of his photographs at the Daniel Gallery, New York in 1927 and Arts Club, Chicago in 1929. In January 1932, he had his first exhibition with the Julien Levy Gallery in New York. Man Ray died in Paris in 1976. Posthumously, he has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, most recently at the Jewish Museum, New York, in Alias Man Ray: The Art of Reinvention.

For additional information or images, please contact the gallery, 212 750 7070 or mariska@houkgallery.com.

Download Press Release (612 K)
Detail Image