- Man Ray
- 'Torso (Lama [sic] Sheath)'
- gelatin silver print
- 11 1/2 by 8 7/8 in. (29.2 by 22.5 cm.)
Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above
London, Serpentine Gallery, Man Ray, January-March 1995
Man Ray Photographies 1920-1934 Paris (James Thrall Soby, 1934), pl. 37
A. D. Coleman, ed., Man Ray: Photographs 1920-34 (New York, 1975), pl. 37 (New Edition of the 1934 book)
Janus, Man Ray: The Photographic Image (New York, 1980), pl. 95
Willis Hartshorn and Merry Foresta, Man Ray in Fashion (New York: International Center of Photography, 1990), p. 68
Emmanuelle de l'Ecotais and Alain Sayag, eds., Man Ray: Photography and Its Double (Paris: Centre Georges Pompidou - Musée National d'Art Moderne, 1998), p. 158
Marina Vanci-Perahim, Great Modern Masters: Man Ray (New York, 1998), pl. 49
Man Ray: Paris Photographs 1920-34 (New York, 2000), pl. 37 (New Edition of the 1934 book)
Emmanuelle de l'Ecotais and Katherine Ware, Man Ray. 1890-1976 (Cologne, 2000), p. 58
Photographies de Man Ray (Tokyo, 2002), pl. 137
As with Solarized Male Nude (Lot 99), the present image is the result of deliberate cropping of a larger negative. The head and legs, both visible in the original negative, are here edited out, leaving only the sculpted form of a body sheathed in lamé fabric. The eroticization and fetishization of the deconstructed body explored here by Man Ray was a topic common among the Surrealists, who often 'removed' parts of the body to decontextualize the female form.
The present image is one of 18 photographs in ‘Anatomies,’ the second chapter of the 1934 monograph, which explores fragmentation of the female form. Although Torso (Lama [sic] Sheath) is the only photograph in the chapter featuring a 'clothed' female figure, it is no less provocative and masterfully composed than the first image in the chapter, a highly abstract and sensual view of Lee Miller’s neck and chin.
Prints of the present image are exceedingly rare. At the time of this writing, only one other early print has been located: the print used for reproduction in Man Ray Photographies 1920-1934 Paris, now in the collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. A slight variant cropping, it is there titled ‘Anatomie’ and dated ‘1929.’ The negative, titled ‘Étude pour Anatomies’ and dated circa 1930, is in the photographer’s archive at the Centre Pompidou. The presence of the Manford M28 posthumous stamp on the reverse suggests that the present print was in Man Ray's possession until his death.