Man Ray United States, 1890-1976


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.