Man Ray: Nudes



Man Ray

Curated by

Maria Tsantsanoglou

Coproduction: MOMus-Museum of Modern Art-Costakis Collection

Support: 58th Dimitria Festival

Opening: Saturday, 14 October, 12:00

Man Ray’s father, Melach Radnitzky, was born in Kiev in 1866 and emigrated to USA in 1886, in order to escape the first wave of antisemitic pogrom that started in 1881 at the city Elisavetgrad (Kropyvnytskyi) of Central Ukraine, a part then of the Russian Empire. His mother Manya Louria was of Jewish-Belarussian descent. His real name was Emmanuel Rudzitsky. Born in Philadelphia, he settled at a young age in New York where he studied painting and quickly expressed his interest in photography. Along with Marcel Duchamp he pursued to organize a dada movement in New York. In 1921 he moved to Paris where he became part of the surrealist circles. He invented techniques that evolve art and photography as a visual art such as the “Rayographs”, photograms created in the dark room without camera and lens. Man Ray died in Paris at 1976. His nude photographs are among his most characteristic series and run the whole spectrum of his art. The exhibition presents 38 prints of his most characteristic nude photographs, some of which are less known and publicized. They are representational nudes that with Man Ray’s extraordinary technique transcend the human flesh and enter a dream dimension, carrying the spectator into the hyperreal universe of their creator. Known female models such as Kiki de Montparnasse, Ady, Natasha, the known artist Meret Oppenheim, the photographer Berenice Abbott, but also male models such as Jean Charles Worth and drag queens such as Barbette signify, through the avant-garde art of Man Ray, the empowering femininity  of the new modern era, in the first decades of the 20th century.



Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitzky, August 27, 1890 – November 18, 1976) was an American modernist visual artist who, most of his life, lived and worked in Paris. He contributed substantially to the aesthetics of Dada and Surrealism, although he was never officially a member of these artistic movements. He created important works of art using many and varied media. He considered himself primarily a painter, but became best known for his pioneering work in the art of photography. He is considered a modernist photographer known for his fashion photographs, nudes and portraits as well as for the technique of his photograms, which he called “rayographs” making a pun on his name.

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