A masterful survey of the finest portraits by one of the most inventive photographic artists of the 20th century
The artist May Ray (1890–1976) initially taught himself photography in order to reproduce his own works of art, but it became one of his preferred mediums. As a contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements in Paris during the 1920s, Man Ray was perfectly placed to make defining images of his avant-garde contemporaries, including Jean Cocteau, Peggy Guggenheim, and Gertrude Stein. Man Ray also photographed his friends and lovers, among them Kiki de Montparnasse (Alice Prin), Lee Miller, who helped him discover the solarization printing process, and Ady Fidelin. Man Ray continued to take portrait photographs throughout his career, including little-known images from 1940s Hollywood, and of stars such as Ava Gardner and Catherine Deneuve taken during the 1950s and 1960s.
An essential reference on Man Ray’s life and work, this book includes an introduction by Terence Pepper and essay by Marina Warner exploring the artist’s creativity and appetite for innovation and experimentation. Complete with first-hand testimonies from the artist’s sitters and over 200 beautifully reproduced images, this handsome volume provides a survey of the finest portraits from one of the most inventive photographic artists of the 20th century.
Published in association with the National Portrait Gallery, London
“[An] exquisite volume . . . virtuosic and dramatic . . . arresting and fresh . . . a veritable who’s who of artists, writers, and famous faces . . . these photographs reveal Ray’s true artistic genius.”—Publishers Weekly~Publishers Weekly
“Spanning more than a half century of work, [this] collection includes familiar, if not iconic, images from the modernist hit parade . . . as well as glamour shots from Hollywood. . . . revealing essences and idiosyncrasies.” —Albert Mobilio, Bookforum~Albert Mobilio, Bookforum
“Essential . . . this handsome volume provides a survey of the finest portraits from one of the most inventive photographic artists of the 20th century.”—American Fine Art~American Fine Art