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Details & Cataloguing

Modernism: Photographs from a Distinguished Private Collection

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Paris

Man Ray
1890 - 1976
ALBERTO GIACOMETTI, 1934
vintage solarized silver print
on reverse, stamp "Photograph by Man Ray"  (M22 - Hollywood period 1940-1951) and annotated Original in pencil by the artist
matted and framed

 

 


11 ½ x 9 in.; 29,1 x 22,9 cm
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Provenance

Michael Senft, New York
Galerie Zur Stockeregg, Zurich

Literature

Philippe Sers, Man Ray – Photographs, Thames and Hudson Ltd, London, 1982, pl. 23 (variant);
Self Portrait – Man Ray, Bloomsbury, London, 1988, p. 203 (variant).
Zervos, 1932, p. 339 (variante)
Man Ray Portraits, 1963, n.p. (variante)
Tokyo, 1984, p. 58
Self Portrait, 1988, p. 203 (autre cadrage)
Turin, 1995, p. 138 (variante)
Centre Pompidou, 1996, p. 318 (variante)
Tokyo, 1996-97, p. 84 (variantes)
Milan, 1998, p. 110 (variante)

Catalogue Note

This portrait of Alberto Giacometti was made by Man Ray in 1932. Man Ray solarized this print. That allowed him to highlight the outlines of the face on the background thanks to an inversion of tones. 

This technique is said to have been discovered accidentally by the assistant and partner of Man Ray, Lee Miller. As they were printing in the lab, she felt a rat touching her feet. The frightened young lady screamed and put the light on. "The tanks were full of negatives that were under development. The blacks became whites and a line appeared on the outlines of the figures that seems to have a halo" 

Man Ray called this phenomena "solarization" and started to use it in his work to create unique prints. This technique contributed in producing a surreal effect, which translated a different vision of the reality and added a soul to the photograph. In fact the sculptor Giacometti is sacralized here by this aureole as a totem of Parisian artists.

© Man Ray 2015 Trust / Adagp, Paris 2018

Modernism: Photographs from a Distinguished Private Collection

|
Paris