Man Ray

Demain, 1929 / 1962
Signed and dedicated to Arturo Schwarz
Gelatin silver print
29.2 x 20.3 cm

Provenance:
Important Private European Collection, mid-1960s.

Exhibited and Published:
Man Ray retrospective. Galleria Schwarz, Milan, 1971.
I Surrealisti. Palazzo Reale Milano, 1989.

 

Advances in photography in the early 20th century gave tremendous opportunities to the Surrealists to experiment with the medium. New photographic techniques and methods including the multiple exposure, solarisation, montage, and combination printing came to occupy a central role in Surrealist activity. These techniques dramatically evoked the union of dream and reality, a central concern for the Surrealists.

The foremost artist to ‘reinvent’ photography as an art form as we now know it, was Man Ray. “My experience, and experiments with optics, had enabled me to obtain such effects. (In fact one of the principal accusations against me by sticklers for pure photography, later, was that I confused painting with photography.)  How true, I replied. I was a painter; it was perfectly normal that one should influence the other. In the true Dada spirit, I had completed the cycle of confusion. I know this phrase will make scientists smile, thinking I mean circle of confusion, and that the alliteration will seem affected to readers.” Man Ray. Photography 1964.

His Rayographs were a culmination of this process where the figurative and the abstract became one. Some of Man Ray’s most powerful and lyrical images depict the female figure. ‘Demain’ portrays Kiki de Montparnasse in a double exposure giving her the presence of a goddess; in a play of light, shadow and form she assumes an additional dimension. Our print was used to illustrate the catalogue cover for Man Ray’s retrospective at the Galleria Schwarz in via Gesù 17 in Milan in 1971.

 

 

 

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