Man Ray Prints Have Their Day

September 18, 2013 | by Simona Rabinovitch | Pursuits

Rope Dancer, Man Ray The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself with her Shadows, 1970, Man Ray 

A new exhibition opening September 18 at the Francis M. Naumann Fine Art gallery marks the first show exclusively devoted to Man Ray's prints. When it comes to avant-garde American artists, Man Ray (1890-1976) instantly comes to mind. Although he was best known as a photographer, his work in other media remains equally relevant, particularly his painting and printmaking, which parallels the history of 20th century printmaking.

The artist discovered printmaking while printing illustrated books of his poems using a lithographic press. He was living in a New Jersey artists' colony at the time, and a few years later experimented with "cliché verres," or photographic prints of hand-drawn negatives. Recognizing the cultural impact and artistic value of these limited-edition prints, the stage was set for works to reach not one, but many sets of eyes.

A few years later in 1921, he moved to France where he lived for much of his career. He hung out with the surrealists and produced illustrated books with group members like Louis Aragón, André Breton, Marcel Duchamp, Paul Éluard, and Tristan Tzara. During WWII he lived in Hollywood and worked with a lithographer there. In 1950, back in Paris, he collaborated with printmaking firms on creating accurate reproductions of his work. "Man Ray: Printmaker" is at the Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, LLC, which specializes in surrealist and dada art, from September 18 through October 25. 24 West 57th St., Suite 305, 212-582-320

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