Item description for Man Ray: Photography and Its Double by Emmanuelle De I'Ecotais & Alain Sayag...
Man Ray (1890-1976), was one of the co-founders of New York Dada. When he arrived in Paris in the 1920s he was already friends with Duchamp and many Parisian Surrealists, who welcomed him with great enthusiasm. He is unquestionably recognized as the most original photographer of our century.
With his photographs, Rayographs, solarizations, and various experimentation with Surrealist doctrines in the darkroom, his photographic contribution to art and especially surrealism is matchless. Thanks to his famous portraits of contemporaries - artists, writers and celebrities - he also became the most notable chronicler of the inter-national Avant-garde movement of the 1920s and 1930s.
This remarkable monograph published to coincide with the historic exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, is entirely dedicated to Man Ray's photographic oeuvre. The Centre Pompidou is the recipient of the Man Ray archives - some 13,000 negatives and 5,000 prints - which reveal for the very first time never before published photographs (a great amount consisting of erotic compositions).
One-third of these photographs have never been seen.
Not only the finished photos, but also the process - crops, background manipulation and other methods. The book with its new images presents for the very first time a true picture of the artist, and a vital addition to the many publications about Man Ray that appeared throughout this century, many of which are long out of print. This monograph is a must for Man Ray experts, for those interested in photography, and a wonderful introduction to students and others not yet sufficiently familiar with Man Ray's work.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Man Ray: Photography and Its Double?
The Photographic Techniques of Man Ray Nov 1, 2007
The book was originally published to coincide with a major exhibition of Man Ray's photography at the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris in April through June 1998. It is composed of several essays about Man Ray and his work as well as a large selection of his best photographs. It very much resembles an exhaustive 260-page catalogue of the exhibit. Some of the essays are much better than others, but they do give some interesting insights into Man Ray and his methods of working. I was surprised to learn about Ray's "modus operandi." In fact I was so surprised that I immediately ordered a copy of his autobiography "Self-Portrait" in order to read the photographer's own descriptions of his work and thinking. A self-taught photographer Man Ray didn't follow the common photographic practices of his era and in many ways that was his genius. Most of the photographs included in this book were contact prints that Man Ray made himself. He then used markers or folded the contact proof to show his printer where and how to crop the image. He seldom made his own final prints justifying that fact by saying he was too busy to do everything himself. Some of the techniques he employed are explained as being necessary to make the grain of the final photographs show up and soften the image. Some of the final cropping of the pictures use only a small portion of the entire image. That's fine, but it makes the viewer wonder if the photographer only discovered the essence of the final image long after the picture was taken? Using only a tiny portion of the total photograph fits in fine with the over-all philosophy of Surrealism so the photographer may not have been telling "little white lies" like he sometimes did in order to keep his secrets. One advantage of seeing the total negative, along with the cropping instructions of so many of his works gives the viewer a good insight into the workings of a pioneer photographer's vision. This book is excellent for a person who already knows something about photographic techniques and processes as well as Man Ray. There are others that would probably be more interesting for the reader and viewer unacquainted with Man Ray's work. Aperture's "Masters of Photography Series" includes "Man Ray" with an Essay by Jed Perl and is one such book. It provides a shorter, easier-to-read introduction to the work of Emmanuel Ranitzsky (Man Ray's birth name) and samples of a wider selection of his photographic work. He is sometimes called the "Father of Fetish Photography" for good reason. He is also a fascinating man, which doesn't come out in this book or the Aperture volume. A better biographical portrait of the man can be found in sections of "Lee Miller: A Life" by Carolyn Burke.
A Pleasing Book Jul 26, 2003
I bought this book expecting an immense variety of photos true to Man Ray's hodgepodge style. What I got was a series of very nice photos that were not quite what I expected. The length of this volume belies it's lack of variation. Most of the book is female nudes, which are very well done, but if you are looking for a book which includes photos of Parisian street life in the 1920's or the campy world of drag queens and surrealists, this is not the book for you. There are some photos of dancers and the like but most of the photos are pretty straightforward nudes who are in arty positions that get dull after a while. This not the book for newcomers to Man Ray nor is it one for those who would like to see truly weird looking pictures. There are some really cool photos here, like Meret Oppenheim in the Erotique Voile series and the rayographs featured. But a substantial portion of the book is devoted to showing works in their original form and how they were cropped and tinkered with to produce final, polished images. This is neat for famous images such as Les Larmes (Tears), but otherwise can get boring. Overall, this is an excellent book for Man Ray experts as it does show many previously unreleased photos, but maybe not the right choice for the rest of us. I enjoyed it though, and I'm still glad I bought it.
Man Ray is the solarization king. Dec 27, 1998
This book is an extroidinary collection of Man Ray's photographic work. His use of light, composition, and solarization is one of the best.This book allows the reader to understand Man Ray's direction and motivation.