Masters of Photography Series
Photographs by Man Ray.
“I do not photograph nature, I photograph my fantasy,” Man Ray proclaimed, and he found in the camera's eye and in light's magical chemistry the mechanisms for dreaming. Schooled as a painter and designer in New York, Man Ray turned to photography after discovering the 291 Gallery and its charismatic founder, Alfred Stieglitz. As a young expatriate in Paris during the twenties and thirties, Man Ray embraced Surrealism and Dadaism, creeds that emphasized chance effects, disjunction and surprise. Tireless experimentation with technique led him to employ solarization, grain enlargement, mixed media and cameraless prints (photograms)--which he called “Rayographs”. These successful manipulations for which he was dubbed “the poet of the darkroom” by Jean Cocteau, were a major contribution to twentieth-century photography. Man Ray presents 43 of the greatest images from the artist's career. The essay by Jed Perl describes the influences on Man Ray's career and his enduring contribution to photography.