Man Ray was one of the most famous and original artists of the 20th century; his importance and influence have many aspects. He revolutionised photography through his experiments and then popularised these through his work as a portrait and fashion photographer. Born Emmanuel Rudnitsky in Philadelphia, Man Ray studied painting in New York at the Ferrer Center and early developed an interest in European avant garde art. In 1915 he collaborated with Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia in founding the New York Dada movement. His interest in photography was stimulated through friendship with Alfred Stieglitz. Moving to Paris in 1921 he became one of the leading figures in the European Dadaist and Surrealist movements as a painter, sculptor, maker of objects, photographer, film-maker and writer. Man Ray is associated particularly with experiments in solarization and with the invention of ‘rayographs’, a form of camera-less photography. Iconic images such as Noire et Blanche, Le Violon d’Ingres and haunting portraits of his many friends and colleagues are now embedded within popular consciousness.
Man Ray Prou del Pilar dansant, 1934
Rayograph by Man Ray, c. 1922
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