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Getty Publications Announces Man Ray in Paris Book

Paris after World War I was teeming with Americans. Bon vivants seeking escape from prohibition mingled with artists and intellectuals, all pursuing their dreams in the City of Light.

The American Modernist Man Ray (1890–1976) spent the 1920s and 1930s in Paris, where experimental expression was flourishing. While he considered himself to be primarily a painter and also worked in film, sculpture, and collage, his best-known and most innovative medium was photography. Man Ray arrived in Paris in 1921 full of creative energy. Inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s “readymades” —mundane objects that became works of art in the gallery context—Man Ray spontaneously created an assemblage during a party by combining carpet tacks and an iron, which he then photographed. Soon afterward, he began to experiment with cameraless photography and devised his Rayographs— abstract images produced by placing objects directly on photographic paper and exposing it to light.

During a career that spanned more than fifty years, two continents, and work in many media, Man Ray (1890-1976) produced a large body of photographic images that continue to command our attention. This volume presents his early work in New York in the 1910s, selections from his sizable Paris oeuvre in the 20s, 30s, and 50s, and photographs taken during his time in Hollywood in the 40s. Though in later years he expressed a desire to be remembered as a painter, Man Ray continued to work with photography throughout his life, pushing the boundaries of the medium with cameraless images, solarized portraits, and other innovations.

He eventually became an influential figure in the city’s avant-garde circles and began to make striking portraits of many of its luminaries, including Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, Jean Cocteau, Joan Miró, and Gertrude Stein. His work inspired other photographers and encouraged painters, including the Surrealists René Magritte and Salvador Dali , to experiment with the medium.

Through its fascinating text and numerous photographs, this volume vividly demonstrates why Man Ray is still considered to be one of the most inventive and exciting artists of the twentieth century.

The Getty Museum’s collection of three hundred works by Man Ray includes vintage prints from the 1910s through the 1960s

Erin C. Garcia, former assistant curator in the Department of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum, is currently an independent curator in San Francisco. She is the author of Photography as Fiction (Getty Publications, 2011), and Man Ray in Paris with 99 color illustrations

The J. Paul Getty Museum, a program of the J. Paul Getty Trust, is an art museum. It has two locations, one at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California, and one at the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California. The museum at the Getty Center contains “Western art from the Middle Ages to the present;” its estimated 1.3 million visitors annually makes it one of the most visited museums in the United States. Visit :

Author: Erin C. Garcia
Year: 2011
Details: 128 pages
7 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches
99 color illustrations
Publisher: Getty Publications
Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum

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