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Man Ray Hardcover – 2007
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man ray [1890-1976] is indisputably one of the most original artists of the 20th century. His revolutionary nude studies, fashion work and portraits opened a new chapter in the history of photography. Born under the name of Emmanuel Radnitzky in Philadelphia, he began his artistic career in New York. In 1921 he moved to Paris, where he was enthusiastically welcomed into Dadaist and Surrealist circles. Man Ray experimented tirelessly with new photographic techniques, multiple exposure, rayography and solarization being some of his most famous creations. Erotic, playful and sometimes sinister, his compositions show unusual bodies and objects: strange, striking images that transform our perceptions of reality. This collection of famous, lesser known and unknown works fully illustrates Man Ray's singular visionary power
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Before saying more about this outstanding volume, let me caution you (as the cover art surely must) that Man Ray often created images of nude women. If such things offend you, this volume will not be appropriate for you.
The essays in this volume as reproduced in English, German, and French. I found them very helpful for providing technical background on the influences on and methods used in Man Ray's work. His approach was very Edison-like in its many unsuccessful experiments and accidents that led to important breakthroughs. A random mouse helped him learn how to do solarization.
It is not surprising that Marcel Duchamp and he became instant friends. Their perspectives on art have many points in common.
Born as Emmanuel Radnitzky in Philadelphia in 1890, he had moved to New York by age 7, and became exposed there to many important artistic influences. These included the Stieglitz gallery, the Armory Show in 1913, and leading artists in New York. He started as a photographer in 1914 just before meeting Marcel Duchamp. His primary years of productivity were spent in Paris, from which he was driven by the Nazi invasion in 1940. His return to the United States was less than a total joy, and he resided again in Paris after 1951.
I believe that this volume is as much a delight for the mind as it is for the eye. Subtle differences in processing of similar images create enormously changed reactions in the viewer. You then move forward to study the reason for your changed perspective and find it in a small detail . . . like a slightly lifted eyebrow. Miror images in positive and negative reproduced side by side on facing pages create a similar reaction.
Here are my favorites from these outstanding reproductions of Man Ray's best work:
Integration of Shadows 1919
La violin d'Ingres 1924
Retour a la raison 1923
Meret Oppenheim 1932
"Beauty in ultra violet" c. 1931
Erotique voilee [Meret Oppenheim] 1933
Le Priere c. 1930
Nusch and Sonia 1935
Untitled [hair] 1931
Lee Miller c. 1930
Objet mathematique 1934-36
Les Arums 1039
Untitled [Dancer] c. 1935
Enough Rope 1944
Champs delicieux 1922
Marcel Duchamp 1916
Constantin Brancusi 1933
Max Ernst c. 1934
Andre Breton c. 1930
Marcel Duchamp 1921
Joan Miro c. 1930
Pablo Picasso 1932
If you enjoy the the ultimate in photographic creativity, this is the book for you!
After you finish this work, I suggest that you take these insights and begin to create some art of your own. Consider creating composite images by including your own collages with natural objects and photographing them, for example. You can even include your own poems as adjoining commentaries.
Expand your mind and your grasp by taking advantage of all the resources at your disposal!