Man Ray
Studio per la danzatrice di corda che si accompagna alle sue stesse ombre, 1916
India ink on paper
22,5 x 28 cm
About A celebrated artist of extraordinary inventiveness, Man Ray was a great Twentieth-century innovator and experimenter.
He established himself as one of the major interpreters of Surrealism in his paintings, assemblages of objects, art films and experimented with various techniques and art forms, including photography.

Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzsky) was born in Philadelphia in 1890 to Jewish parents of Russian origin, who had immigrated to the United States a few years earlier. After high school and initial industrial design courses, Man Ray attended the Ferrer Center, where he met Alfred Stieglitz and began frequenting the New York avant-garde. After his first cubist-inspired works, he experimented with various techniques – collage, sculpture and assemblage, airbrush painting – and began to concentrate to photography.

Alongside Marcel Duchamp, he was the main exponent of New York dadaism and the promoter of numerous initiatives: the foundation of the Society of Independent Artists (1916), the Société Anonyme Inc. (1920), and the publication of "New York Dada" magazine (1921).
This period saw the creation of the first “objects of my affection”, among them the famous Enigma of Isidore Ducasse. In 1921 he moved to Paris, where he saw Marcel Duchamp again, and later that year held a solo show at Librairie Six. He also produced his first Rayographs, published in the volume Champs délicieux (1922) with a foreword by Tristan Tzara.

After participating in Salon Dada at the Galerie Montaigne in 1922, he worked on the film Retour à la raison and joined the surrealist group, exhibiting with them at the Galerie Pierre in 1925 and in all their subsequent exhibitions. He remained in Paris until 1940, where he continued to exhibit both in Europe and the US. In July 1940, after the outbreak of World War II, he returned to the US, settling in Los Angeles until 1951.
During his stay in America, he met and married Juliet Browner, who was also his model and muse.
He concentrated mainly on painting, creating the Shakespearean Equations and Alphabet for Adults.
On his return to Paris, he continued his photographic experimentation, his painting, and the creation of his “objects of affection”.

In 1959, the London Institute of Contemporary Art presented an important anthology of his work, and two years later he was awarded the gold medal for photography at the Venice Biennial.
In 1966, the first major retrospective of his work was held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and in 1970 a travelling exhibition opened at Museum Boymans van Beuningen in Rotterdam and subsequently visited various European cities.
Man Ray died in Paris on 18 November 1976.

Over the years, Fondazione Marconi has dedicated various exhibitions to the work of Man Ray, among which were: Man Ray: Photographs 1920-1950 (2006); Man Ray - Robert Mapplethorpe (2010); Man Ray: The Fifty Faces of Juliet (2011); Man Ray 1944 (2012); and Man Ray: Models (2013).
Further exhibitions in other venues include that of the Fondazione Mazzotta, Milan (2004); the Art Museum of the City of Lugano (2011); GlHoltegaard-Breda Foundation, Copenhagen (2013); and Villa Manin in Passariano, Udine (2014-2015), Phillips Collection, Washington, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenaghen, Israel Museum of Jerusalem (2015).

The artist’s works have been also presented at the Kunstforum Vienna, the Modem of Debrecem, in Hungary (2018), the Saarlandmuseum-Moderne Galerie, Saarbrücken (2019), the Grand Palais, Marseille and the Musée du Luxembourg, Paris (2019-2020).