Man Ray - Photographs New York Monday, April 9, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    Man Ray, Self Portrait, p. 186
    Schwarz, Man Ray: The Rigour of Imagination, pl. 52
    Manford, Behind the Photo: The Stamps of Man Ray, n.p., for stamp

  • Catalogue Essay

    This photograph, of Man Ray’s 1923 painted portrait of Marcel Duchamp, demonstrates Man Ray’s thoroughly interdisciplinary approach to making art and the extent to which photography influenced his painting. He wrote that he “set about to do a portrait of [Duchamp] in oils, but, influenced by the many photographic portraits I had made of him, the work was in black and sepia, mimicking a photograph. I had him pose for me once or twice to verify some details in his features. I introduced some imagined motives in the black background so that the painting was not too factual. It was neither a painting nor a photograph; the confusion pleased me and I thought this should be the direction my future painting would take” (Self Portrait, p. 186).

    The words “Cela Vit” inscribed over a rose in the lower right corner of the painting are a punning reference to Duchamp’s alter-ego, Rrose Sêlavy.


Portrait of Duchamp

Gelatin silver print.
10 1/2 x 8 1/4 in. (26.7 x 21 cm)
Signed, titled, dated and annotated in ink, '31 bis, Rue Campagne Première, PARIS’ (Manford M3) credit stamp, annotations in unidentified hands in pencil, ink and crayon on the verso.

$10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for $20,000

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New York Auction 9 April 2018