The complete Man Ray | Exhibitions | Showcase


The Kunstforum Wien museum. This beautiful building in the heart of Vienna is, until late June, providing visitors with a never-before seen perspective on the American artist Man Ray. He’s universally known as a photographer, but in fact, Man Ray was one of the most productive and versatile artists of the twentieth century. His early work, dating from around 1913, was not photography, but abstract paintings influenced by Cubism and Fauvism. And in 1921, Man Ray went to Paris, where he was welcomed by the
Dadaists and Surrealists. In January 1922 he was discovering rayography which is an old technique the photogram He managed to do photography without a camera meaning he was working in the dark room putting objects on light sensitive paper and then the light came down on the photo paper and those objects which he found in his studio, like different tools he would use, They kind of showed their secret contours on the paper and this was very very special His most famous works, like Noire et Blanche, date from the 1920s. He often featured his lover Kiki de Montparnasse in stylized poses. We have about 200 objects on loan for the exhibition. They come from all over the world. From big prominent institutions like
The Museum Of Modern Art in New York, The Centre Pompidou in Paris or Tate in London. Of course we do also have a lot of private lenders, for example in Paris we have a
very very generous lender, an old lady who is living in a Man Ray apartment So she kind of like emptied
her apartment for our exhibition All in all we have about 40 lenders
from all over the world and this was quite tough to gather
together all those objects on loan but in the end we succeeded. Man Ray was a prolific artist, able to turn household objects into unusual art pieces. Underneath here is a sewing machine This painted baguette is all about wordplay:
Pain peint means literally blue bread. But as well as avant-garde,
he could also be commercial. If you take a look at his
fashion photography for example you can see that he really worked with objects, he integrated art works, he integrated in his fashion photography. He was working as a photographer
for really popular magazines like Harpers Bazaar or Vogue. He had many cover photographs. Kunstforum Wien’s exhibition space
includes an arthouse cinema dedicated to Man Ray’s experimental films of the 1920s. Man Ray is so often thought of as just a photographer, famed for his rayograph photogram techniques. But this exhibition, with 200 objects ranging from paintings
and sketches to sculptures, highlights a much broader legacy and gives us a unique insight
into the complete Man Ray. Miranda Atty, TRT World, Vienna

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