Man Ray Portraits Exhibition in London
One of the greatest photographic pioneers of the 20th century - but for himself photography was simply a job. His name: Man Ray. He always considered himself a painter: indeed, he first approached photography as a means of reproducing his painting. Gentlemans Diary -and not only- names Man Ray one of the greatest photographer.
Man Ray Portraits bring together over 150 examples of Man Ray's extraordinary creative output, sourced form major museums and private collectors. The display offers a survey not only into one 'Man's' work, but into a moment in history - one man's perspective, but one influenced by many others, including his sitters.
His story begins in New York where after meeting Marcel Duchamp, Ray moved to Paris in 1921 embracing it as his true home. It was there where he became an essential part in the surreal vibe, even if he never formally subscribed to them, meeting and more importantly photographing many of their contemporaries, friends and lovers. Names like Pablo Picasso, Andre Breton, Henri Matisse, Salvador Dali, Le Corbusier, Virginia Woolf, Igor Stravinsky, James Joyce, Coco Chanel, Kiki de Montparnasse, Wallis Simpson, Elsa Schiaparelli, Suzy Solidor and Barbette all posed for his camera, names that shaped art, fashion and literature at the time.The National Portrait Gallery exhibition, which opens on 7 February, includes not only some of Man Ray's most well-know shots - like the surreal icon Le Violon d’Ingres, with Kiki de Montparnasse’s back as a violin - but also previously unseen portraits of his time in Hollywood, where he fled during World War II. Man Ray’s genius has gone down in history for its incredible versatility, shooting fashion for Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Harper’s Bazaar as well as making surreal sculptures, paintings and groundbreaking portraiture documenting the artistic epicentre that was Paris in the 1930s.