MAN RAY (American, 1890-1976)

Man Ray, born Emmanuel Radnitzky in Philadelphia, PA, was best known as a pioneer of 20th century avant-garde art and photography. He was a leading figure in the Dada and Surrealist art movements in America and France, where he lived for several years. Man Ray grew up in New York City, where he studied art at the National Academy of Design and the Ferrer School. After seeing the Armory Show, the first exhibition of modern art in America, Ray was inspired to reject traditional styles and experiment with new forms and new methods of creating art.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Ray became a popular fashion photographer, with works published in magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. He experimented with techniques such as solarization and rayographs, a method he invented. A rayograph was produced by placing objects directly on photosensitive paper instead of producing an image from a negative. Ray’s photographic innovations influenced his contemporaries, including Brassai, Berenice Abbott and Lee Miller.

Ray relocated to Hollywood, California, during World War II to focus on painting, filmmaking and constructing Dadaist and Surrealist objects. He returned to Paris in 1951, where he remained until his death in 1976.

Selected Collections:

The Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA

Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NY

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, NY

Jewish Museum of New York, New York City, NY

Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Tate Britain, London, United Kingdom

Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom

Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israle

Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia