Open: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 11am-6pm

744 Madison Avenue, NY 10065, New York, United States
Open: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 11am-6pm


Man Ray’s Paris Portraits: 1921-1939

Di Donna, New York

Wed 26 Apr 2023 to Fri 30 Jun 2023

744 Madison Avenue, NY 10065 Man Ray’s Paris Portraits: 1921-1939

Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 11am-6pm

Artist: Man Ray

Di Donna Galleries, in collaboration with Timothy Baum, presents Man Ray’s Paris Portraits: 1921 - 1939, featuring 70 rare vintage silver prints that offer insight into one of the greatest artists and photographers of the twentieth century.

Installation Views

Man Ray’s Paris Portraits celebrates the artist and the creative community that surrounded him in Paris between the war years. Highlights include rarely seen self-portraits, as well as intimate portrayals of the artists, writers, and intellectuals in his circle, including prints of André Breton, Meret Oppenheim, Marcel Duchamp, André Derain, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Paul Éluard, Tristan Tzara, and Louis Aragon, among others. In addition to presenting a dazzling who’s who of the Parisian avant-garde, the works also showcase the technical innovations in photography that Man Ray made during his time in the city.

Timothy Baum is a poet, art collector, and specialist in Dada and Surrealism who knew Man Ray personally. For the last eight years of Man Ray’s life, Baum and Man Ray spent time together and even celebrated their birthdays (which were two days apart) together in Paris. Baum acquired many works directly from the artist and established on of the largest private collections of Man Ray’s work.

Man Ray arrived in Paris from New York in 1921. He was greeted by Marcel Duchamp, who introduced him to the painters and poets who came to define the era of the Roaring Twenties. Duchamp helped to establish Man Ray as part of the Dadaist group, and he would go on to become one of the prominent members of Surrealism. Man Ray spent his early years in Paris traveling and eventually settled in Montparnasse, where meeting new friends and marveling at the cafés were a part of daily life. He resumed his artistic practice of drawing and painting, and soon found a darkroom for photography. Only a few months after his arrival, Man Ray’s work was received with enthusiasm by his fellow comrades, including Breton, Aragon, Éluard, Philippe Soupault, Erik Satie, Max Ernst, and Tzara.

Man Ray once claimed that he used photography for the things he does not wish to paint and painting for what cannot be photographed. He had a noticeable talent for portraiture and experimented with light in the form of solarized prints. Discovered in his studio with Lee Miller, solarization is a technique in which the negative is exposed to a flash or beam of intense light, creating a halo-like effect around the figure. His reputation rapidly grew among his circle of friends, and he became the photographer of choice by the Surrealists, and a number of artists, writers, poets, and musicians gathered around Man Ray so he could make their portraits.

In 2019, Di Donna Galleries organized Enigma & Desire: Man Ray Paintings, the first survey exhibition to focus on the artist’s paintings. The gallery invites audiences to explore this comprehensive presentation of Man Ray’s Paris portraits that celebrate his inventiveness in the art of photography.

© 2015 Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

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