Man Ray

(1890 - 1976) American


Man Ray, the pioneering photographer, painter, and filmmaker, was born Emmanuel Radnitsky, the son of Russian immigrants, in Philadelphia. He came to photography via painting in 1915: while preparing for the first solo show of his paintings, he bought his own camera to take photographs of his work for dealers and friends. As a young man he was a prominent figure in New York's avant-garde circles, becoming a regular at Alfred Stieglitz's 291 Gallery as well as the Arensberg salon.
In 1921, Man Ray moved to Paris, where he remained for most of the rest of life life. In 1922, he began making imaginative photographs--or "rayographs," as he called them--which were initially published in a portfolio called Les Champs délicieux, with an introduction by Dadist Tristan Tzara. During the 1920s and '30s, Man Ray was both an influential member of the Surrealist group and a well-known portraitist and fashion photographer. He also made a number of important avant-garde films, including Le Retour à la raison (1923) and Emak Bakia (1926).
Phillips, Christopher, and Vanessa Rocco, eds. Modernist Photography: Selections from the Daniel Cowin Collection. New York: International Center of Photography and Göttingen, Germany: Steidl, 2005, pp. 110–11.
De l'Ecotais, Emmanuelle. Man Ray: Rayographies. Paris: L. Scheer, 2002.
Foresta, Merry, et al. Perpetual Motif: The Art of Man Ray. Washington, DC: National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; New York: Abbeville Press, 1988.
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