- Lee Miller
- Gelatin silver print
- 9 by 6¾ in. (23 by 17.4 cm.)
kPrivate Collection, Europe
Christie's New York, 18 October 1990, Sale 7132, Lot 353
G. Ray Hawkins Gallery, Los Angeles
Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, 1995
London, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Art of Lee Miller, September 2007 - January 2008, and traveling thereafter to:
Philadelphia Museum of Art, January - April 2008
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, July - September 2008
Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris, October 2008 - January 2009
Palm Beach Photographic Centre, In Good Hands: Selected Works from the Buhl Collection, March 2011
Middletown, Delaware, Warner Gallery at St. Andrew's School, In Good Hands: Selected Works from the Buhl Collection, October - November 2011
Mark Haworth-Booth, The Art of Lee Miller (Victoria and Albert Museum, 2007), pl. 96 (this print)
Ilene Susan Fort, Tere Arcq, and Terri Geis, In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2012), p. 188
Lee Miller was the canniest of photographers, and one of several women who made the transition from muse to artist. Condom was made during her affair with Man Ray, from whom she learned photography. Miller was a quick study, and her early images demonstrate technical adeptness with the medium as well as an understanding of its creative possibilities. Many of her images made around the time of Condom show a similarly Surreal take on the world around her. Miller would shift her emphasis to reportage in the coming decade, photographing war-torn Europe for Vogue, but even in her most photorealistic images the shadow of Surrealism can be detected.
This photograph was originally acquired from the pioneering gallerist Julien Levy. Levy was an early supporter of Miller’s work and included it in a number of his exhibitions, culminating in a solo show in late 1932. Levy had an affair with Miller during a trip to Paris in that year.
This image was featured in the recent Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibition, In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States, where it was represented by a posthumous print.