Man Ray (Biographical details)

Man Ray (photographer; painter/draughtsman; American (USA); Male; 1890 - 1976)

Also known as

Ray, Man; Radnitsky, Emmanuel


American photographer and painter, born Philadelphia 25 Aug 1890; brought up in New York, and adopted the pseudonym Man Ray 1909; leading figure in Dada and Surrealist movements; attended drawing classes taught by Robert Henri and George Bellows at the Francisco Ferrer Social Center, or Modern School; he lived for a time in the art colony of Ridgefield, NJ, where he designed, illustrated and produced several small press pamphlets, such as the Ridgefield Gazook, published in 1915, and A Book of Diverse Writings; a frequent visitor to Alfred Stieglitz's gallery, 291, where he was introduced to European contemporary art, from Auguste Rodin's drawings to collages by Braque and Picasso, but also to photographs by Stieglitz and others; also greatly influenced by the avant-garde art exhibited at the Armory show; attended Walter Arensberg's Salon and, at Marcel Duchamp's invitation, also became a founder-member, with patron Katherine Dreier, of the Société anonyme, one of the first organizations to promote and collect avant-garde art; collaborated with Duchamp on New York Dada, one of the first official chronicles of the movement 1921; moved to Paris and became influential member of the international Dada and Surrealist circles of artists and writers, which included Tristan Tzara, Jean Cocteau, Max Ernst, Dali, Paul Eluard, Picasso and André Breton; produced works in a variety of styles and in many different media; in 1922 he began to exploit his personal variant of the photogram, which he called the 'rayograph', a method of producing images directly from objects on photo-sensitive paper; worked as a portrait photographer and, in the 1920s and 1930s, as a fashion photographer; made films; left Paris at the onset of World War II and spent the war years in Los Angeles, concentrated on painting and making objects; returned to Paris 1951; died Paris, 18 Nov 1976.