Man Ray - Liberating Photography

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Man Ray -  Liberating Photography

Published in connection with an exhibition opening at Photo Elysée in spring 2024, this book presents more than one hundred and fifty of Man Ray's portraits, primarily from the 1920s and '30s.

Man Ray (1890–1976) was a man both of and ahead of his time. With his conceptual approach and innovative techniques, he liberated photography from previous constraints and opened the floodgates to new ways of thinking about the medium.

A close friend of Marcel Duchamp and André Breton, he was one of the few photographers to be mentioned among the Dada artists and surrealists. He also worked as a fashion photographer, first for Vogue and later for Harper's Bazaar and Vanity Fair. Renowned as the creator of Ingres's Violin—a photograph from 1924 that broke records when it was sold for $12.4 million in 2022—Man Ray remains an influential figure in the worlds of art, fashion, and pop culture, with many other artists referencing his work.

Published in connection with an exhibition at Photo Elysée and in the centennial year of the publication of André Breton's Surrealist Manifesto, Man Ray presents more than one hundred and fifty of Man Ray’s portraits, primarily from the 1920s and '30s. It includes portraits of the leading lights of the Paris art scene, among them Marcel Duchamp, Robert Delaunay, Georges Braque, Alberto Giacometti, and Pablo Picasso, as well as a selection of his fashion work. As an innovator of photographic techniques and compositional form, Man Ray found the studio portrait—be it of the artists and writers with whom he had longstanding friendships or of the objects and sculptures he collected—to be the playground in which he could express the visual wit and experimentation for which he is renowned.

Contributors

Nathalie Herschdorfer

Nathalie Herschdorfer is the director of Photo Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland. Her previous books include Deborah Turbeville: PhotocollageBody, and Coming into Fashion.

Wendy Grossman

Wendy A. Grossman is an independent scholar and curator. She is the author of Man Ray, African Art, and the Modernist Lens.