Man Ray United States, 1890-1976
Man RayJeu d'échecs (Chess set), 1920 (1962-66)Inscribed 'Man Ray' and numbered '17/50' (on the gold king); inlaid with the artist's facsimile handwriting 'le Roi est à moi - la Reine est la tienne - La Tour fait un four - le Fou est comme vous - Le Cavalier déraille - le Pion fait l'espion comme toute canaille - Fait de toutes pièces - Man Ray 1962' (on the chessboard)Chess set comprising 32 polished bronze chess pieces and a lacquer inlay chessboard mounted in wood with storage compartments lined with velvet for chess piecesClosed (without base): 10 by 100 by 57 cm (4 by 39⅜ by 22½ in.)SOLD
Open (without base): 9.5 by 143.2 by 57 cm (3¾ by 56⅜ by 22½ in.)
Man Ray (b. 1890, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; d. 1976, Paris, France) was a twentieth-century American artist who worked in the mediums of photography, film, painting, and assemblage. He began his artistic career in 1913 as a painter in and around New York City before moving in 1921 to Paris, where he collaborated with the Paris Dadaists and became a prominent member of the ensuing Surrealist movement. During this period, he became well known for documentary photographs of this creative milieu and worked as a highly successful photographer in the fashion and advertising industries and in commissioned portraiture. In 1940, Man Ray fled the outbreak of World War II in Europe and settled in Hollywood, California, where he further focused on painting and object-making, producing accomplished and enigmatic works while becoming increasingly vocal about art and theory. Man Ray permanently returned to Paris in 1951 and remained there until his death in 1976. His prescient fascination with mechanical reproduction, temporality, and language have had a lasting influence on subsequent generations of artists, and his relentlessly intellectual approach to art-making resulted in a dynamic practice that remains remarkably contemporary. Man Ray’s work is held in important international museum collections, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris and Tate, London.