Sotheby’s Paris Man Ray sale realised a total of €2,716,075 ($3,734,413). This auction encompassed more than 50 years of Man Ray’s artistic output. It was the most comprehensive ensemble of works by the artist to come to the market in nearly 20 years, since the legendary sale held by Sotheby’s in 1995. Coming directly from the Man Ray estate, the offering included works in all media (photography, painting, Surrealist objects, chess sets and experimental films), capturing the full range of the artist’s career.
The auction’s star lot, Much Ado about Nothing, a 1949 Surrealist painting from Man Ray’s “Shakespearean Equations” series, soared above its estimate and achieved €187,500 ($257,799). Another coveted painting, Purple Mask, 1948, tripled its highest estimate set at €40,000 by being sold for €115,000. Finally, several surrealistic objects attracted clients, among them the legendary humoristic clay pipe, embellished by a ball of iridescent glass, Ce quemanque à nous tous, sold for €133,500. Originally designed in 1927, this copy of a 1972 edition illustrates the surreal concept consisting in taking an everyday object and changing its initial function.
Following today’s sale, Andrew Strauss, Vice-president of Sotheby’s France and a leading authority on Man Ray, said:“Today’s results paid tribute to Man Ray’s creative genius. The great diversity of his work attracted international collectors of many horizons seizing this unique opportunity to acquire works coming directly from his estate”.
Man Ray was one of the most intriguing and prolific artists of the 20th century. A unique collection of his works, coming directly from the estate of the artist, will be sold at Sotheby’s Paris on 15 November 2014.
The sale encompasses more than 50 years of his artistic output and is the most comprehensive offering of his work to come to the market in nearly twenty years, since the legendary Man Ray sale held by Sotheby’s in 1995.
The auction provides a rare opportunity for collectors and museums to acquire works by Man Ray coming directly from the artist’s studio, illustrating the full range and evolution of his career and reflecting his fascinating life as a Dada and Surrealist artist. The sale reveals the many faces of Man Ray: ground-breaking photographer and innovative portraitist, accomplished painter and skilful maker of Surrealist objects, chess sets and experimental films. The 270 lots on offer include works in all media, highlighting the ingenuity of Man Ray’s inventions and his extraordinary provocative sense of humour.
A selection of highlights from this sale will be exhibited in our galleries during the Paris Biennale from 9 to 15 September and the FIAC Art Fair, from 22 to 25 October.