MAN RAY - Biography

Emmanuel Rudnitsky was born in 1890 in Philadelphia (United States). He will practice various professions while taking drawing courses at the Ferrer Center in New York (1910-1911). It was in 1911 that he took the pseudonym of Man Ray. For a certain period of time he went to live in a community of artists (New Jersey, 1913).
His first personal exhibition takes place in 1915. During this last year he is linked with Marcel Duchamp. Sometimes they will do works together. Duchamp introduced him to the Dadaists upon his arrival in Paris in 1921. Man Ray quickly became famous, both as a worldly portraitist and as a fashion and advertising photographer. However, he continues to carry on his work as an artist.
In 1924, he approaches the surrealists and participates in the different exhibitions of the group. He will publish (in 1937 with André Breton), the poster "La photographie n’est pas l'art" ("Photography is not art"). He leaves France (1940) for eleven long years at the beginning of the war. Man Ray returned to Paris in 1951, where he died in 1976. From 1915 he used photography to reproduce his painting or used it as a starting point. He will create numerous abstract collages, make up some strange assemblages, and create, in the 1920s, some "dadà" objects. Man Ray will invent (1921) a photographic process that manages to take the imprints of an object without a device, he will discover the solarization that allows the accentuation of the contours through black lines. Photographer, surrealist painter, he will reach abstraction towards the end of the 1950s, without ever abandoning the construction of his incongruous assemblages.