19
19
Man Ray
RAYOGRAPH (WITH COIL, HANDKERCHIEF, AND CHAIN)
Stima
400.000600.000
Lotto. Venduto 485,000 USD (Prezzo di aggiudicazione con commissione d'acquisto)
VAI AL LOTTO
19
Man Ray
RAYOGRAPH (WITH COIL, HANDKERCHIEF, AND CHAIN)
Stima
400.000600.000
Lotto. Venduto 485,000 USD (Prezzo di aggiudicazione con commissione d'acquisto)
VAI AL LOTTO

Details & Cataloguing

The Inventive Eye: Photographs from a Private Collection

|
New York

Man Ray
1890-1976
RAYOGRAPH (WITH COIL, HANDKERCHIEF, AND CHAIN)
photogram, a unique object, signed by the photographer in pencil on the image, with reduction notations, in French, in an unidentified hand in pencil on the reverse, tipped to a mount, the mount with the annotation ‘Top’ in an unidentified hand in pencil on the reverse, framed, 1924
11 1/4  by 9 in. (28.6 by 22.9 cm.)
Leggi la scheda di conservazione Leggi la scheda di conservazione

Provenienza(e)

Collection of Jacob Bean, New York

By descent to Bean’s heir

Sotheby’s New York, 6 October 1999, Sale 7348, Lot 287

Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

Private collection, San Francisco

Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, 2008

Bibliografia

Les Feuilles Libres, No. 40, May-June 1925, p. 256 (this unique object)

Emmanuelle de l'Ecotais, Man Ray, Rayographies (Paris, 2002), no. 132 (a copy print of this image)

Arturo Schwartz, Man Ray: The Rigour of Imagination (New York, 1977), p. 251, fig. 406

Nota a catalogo

This early Rayograph captures the mystery and sly beauty present in the best of Man Ray’s photograms from the early 1920s.  Composed in his darkroom, without the use of a camera, it presents a tableau suggestive of a landscape, but ultimately resists such easy interpretation. Like Man Ray himself, this Rayograph comprises its own unique category within the art of the 20th century. 

Man Ray scholar Steven Manford notes that this early Rayograph was reproduced in the May-June 1925 issue of Les Feuilles Libres, along with three other Rayographs and six of Man Ray’s cliché-verre images.  This all-Man Ray issue included an essay by Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes, who, four years later, in 1929, would publish the first book on the artist and his work.  Man Ray’s association with Les Feuilles Libres had been established in 1922, when the magazine featured the first publication of a Rayograph.

This Rayograph comes originally from the collection of distinguished curator and author, Jacob Bean (1923-1992). Bean was Curator of Drawings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1960 through the early 1990s, where he concentrated on works by Italian and French masters of the 17th and 18th centuries, and co-authored several definitive books.  A man of diverse experience, he had worked previously as a fact checker for The New Yorker magazine, as a guest curator at the Louvre, and, in the 1940s, in the pioneering gallery of Julien Levy.  It is possible Bean acquired this Rayograph at that time.  In his memoirs, Julien Levy recounted:

‘Most of my secretaries, each in turn, became involved in the life of the gallery.  They were underpaid, but for the most part devoted and loyal.  Having intimate relations with the customary heartbreaking state of my accounts, each did his or her best to interest some friends of their own in buying . . . Many of those who worked for me went on to bigger things . . . Jacob Beane [sic] later became curator of Prints and Drawings at the Metropolitan Museum' (Memoir of an Art Gallery, p. 86).

Another Rayograph from Bean’s collection was sold in these rooms in October 1993 (Sale 6468, Lot 361). 

A Rayograph of the same dimensions as the one offered here, utilizing three of the same elements—the chain, the handkerchief, and the unidentified jewel-like object—is owned by the Yale University Art Gallery (Acc. No. 1941.660).  Yale’s Rayograph is signed and dated 1924 by Man Ray and was given to the University in 1937 by Katherine Dreier.  Dreier was a founding member in 1920, with Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp, of the Societé Anonyme, a group devoted to promoting new art.  The Societé Anonyme was responsible for giving many Americans their introduction to Dada, Surrealism, and other cutting-edge work of the time.

This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the Rayographs being prepared by Steven Manford.

The Inventive Eye: Photographs from a Private Collection

|
New York