Art is divine

Film Painter

Micha Christos

LUXEMBOURG MUSEUM

Paris

Until January 17, 2021

 

MAN RAY

AND FASHION

Harper's Bazaar magazine "Black silk taffeta by Alix", February 1937, p.54-55 Magazine pages 54-55

© Galliera / Parisienne de Photographie © Man Ray 2015 Trust / Adagp, Paris 2020

Man ray

Head of Venus in make-up 1932

11 x 8 cm gelatin silver print

Private collection © Man Ray 2015 Trust / Adagp, Paris 2020

Man Ray, whose real name is Emmanuel Radnitsky, was born in Philadelphia on August 27, 1890 but spent his youth in Brooklyn. His training at the Modern School at the Ferrer Center in Manhattan and then in Harlem frees him very early from established rules and allows him to choose innovation in all fields. He considers painting, photography and film as the tools of his personal expression and of his immense creativity, refusing to prioritize their techniques, playing with all of them, prisoner of none.

 

Actor of Dadaism in New York then of surrealism in Paris, this son of a tailor fascinated the field of fashion from 1921 by the modernity of his aesthetics. Upon his arrival in France, his friend Marcel Duchamp introduced him to the artistic world of Montparnasse. He frequents Aragon, Breton, Eluard and Gala at the Bal des Beaumont and at the cabaret "Le Bœuf sur le Toit". At this time, he fell in love with the French singer and model Kiki de Montparnasse. His meeting with Paul Poiret seals his passion for fashion. Her original works, both in their technique and in the humor and poetry they exude, feature the models of Poiret, Chanel and Schiaparelli in the pages of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Vanity Fair.

 

Pierre Rocher, Marcel Duchamp’s agent, is close to Nicole Groult, sister of Paul Poiret and lover of Marie Laurencin. He lends the money to Man Ray to open his photography studio and, in return, he develops the erotic photographs of this small circle as creative as libertine.

 

His fame is growing and his works are presented at the first surrealist exhibition of the Pierre gallery in Paris in 1925 alongside Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Jean Arp and Max Ernst. The great artists of his time, from Jean Cocteau to James Joyce via Gertrude Stein, pose in front of his lens.

 

Man ray

The Hair 1929 gelatin silver print, late print 28.7 x 19.5

Milan, Fondazione Marconi

© private collection, courtesy Fondazione Marconi

© Man Ray 2015 Trust / Adagp, Paris 2020


Man ray

Little evening dress in printed black crepe, Elsa Schiaparelli,

February 1936 collection n ° 104. Published in Harper’s Bazaar, March 1936, p.72d.

1936 gelatin silver print 27.8 x 22 cm

Paris, Palais Galliera, Fashion Museum of the City of Paris

© Galliera / Parisienne de Photographie © Man Ray 2015 Trust / Adagp, Paris 2020

Man ray

Peggy Guggenheim in a 1924 Poiret dress gelatin silver contact print

10.8 x 8 cm Paris, Center Pompidou, National Museum of Modern Art / Center for industrial creation, donation in 1994 © Center Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, dist. Rmn-Grand Palais / Guy Carrard © Man Ray 2015 Trust / Adagp, Paris 2020


Man ray

Hands painted by Pablo Picasso 1935

gelatin silver print 8.3 x 11.1 cm

Paris, Center Pompidou, National Museum of Modern Art / Center for industrial creation, donation in 1994 © Center Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, dist. Rmn-Grand Palais / Guy Carrard

© Man Ray 2015 Trust / Adagp, Paris 2020

In 1929, his muse and assistant Lee Miller became his mistress. Their loving and creative relationship allows them to develop the aesthetic potential of solarisation. Meret Oppenheim posed for him in 1934 for a series of nudes that remains one of his most famous. Adrienne Fidelin, in 1936, became his muse under the name of Ady Fidelin and this new love story was closely interwoven with her social and artistic life in the talented environment of Montparnasse at the time. Fashion and its universe will be for him a commercial windfall that will allow him to live comfortably for more than eighteen years.

 

However, after France's defeat in 1940, Man Ray of Jewish origin fled the Occupation and joined Lisbon. He sailed for the United States with Salvador Dali and his wife, Gala, as well as the filmmaker, René Clair.

 

Man Ray stays in New York for a few days before moving to Hollywood where he meets his second wife Juliet. He then abandons his desire to settle in Tahiti to follow in Gauguin's footsteps and starts painting. He chose as models the mathematical sculptures he had photographed at the Henri Poincaré Institute and gave each of his paintings the title of a book by Shakespeare.

 

It was in 1951 that Man Ray returned to Paris and, twelve years later, became satrap of the Collège de Pataphysique. The glorious 1930s era, bathed in party and glitter, is well over. It is in the dark humidity of an old garage that he moves in with his wife.

His bubbling genius died out on November 18, 1976 and his tomb bears the epitaph "Unconcerned but not indifferent".

 

Eye of fashion, insatiable inventor and forever the creator, Man Ray remains in the pantheon of this fabulous Paris of the pre-war years. Timeless ...