Man Ray (1890 – 1976) has always been primarily received as a photographer. He achieved worldwide renown for his portraits of artists and his rayographs of the 1920s, produced without the use of a camera. However, Man Ray painted, drew, designed, made films and objects, wrote, invested his talents enthusiastically in typography, book and magazine design, and pursued a veritable career as experimental fashion photographer for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue – thus providing enviable scope for Kunstforum to visualize all this in its exhibition. Man Ray exploited countless artistic media and techniques in an inventive and playful manner. A selection of 200 keyworks from all over the world, including painting, photography, objects, works on paper, collages, assemblages, and experimental film, will help to map the outline of an enigmatic and complex artist personality who paved the way for modern and contemporary art, and – in congenial artistic complicity with Marcel Duchamp – laid groundwork for how and what we see as »art« today. The academic essays in the book are complemeted by artist statements by Hans Kupelwieser, Bruce Nauman, and James Welling and a chronological compilation of quotes from Man Ray’s autobiography in lieu of a conventional biography.
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