Joan Miró

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  • Provenance

    From the artist; Private Collection; Robert Mann Gallery, New York

  • Literature

    Allan Frumkin Gallery, Man Ray: Vintage Photographs, Solarizations and Rayographs, pl. 51; Baum, Man Ray’s Paris Portraits: 1921-1939, pl. 37; Thames & Hudson, Man Ray Photographs, pl. 29 for a variant pose

  • Catalogue Essay

    Man Ray arrived in Paris on Bastille Day, 1921, and was met at one of the city’s gates by Marcel Duchamp. It was there that the multi-media American transplant üowered into one of history’s greatest photographers. In his Paris studio Man Ray created his first ‘rayographs’ and accidentally discovered the otherworldly beauty of solarization. And it was in Paris, during the explosively fertile era between World War I and World War II, that Man Ray became, in his own words, “an official recorder of events and personalities.”

    The four Man Ray photographs offered were all taken in Paris at the height of Man Ray’s use of photography. Each of the four photographs stems from Man Ray’s intimate alignment with both Dada and Surrealism; a Surrealist ‘happening’ documented at a cabaret in 1929 (lot 230); a solarized transformation of the Italian Surrealist, Giorgio de Chirico‘s, profile (lot 228), into a living, breathing Roman sculpture; a heightened Existential moment captured in the chance meeting of the Spanish painter Joan Miró with a rope (lot 227) and culminating in Man Ray’s monumental self-portrait (lot 226).

    Man Ray made several studies for the cover of his book Photographs by Man Ray 1920 Paris 1934, one of which can be seen in the current lot. Untitled (Self-portrait of Man Ray), 1933, depicts the artist as a tableau of arranged objects; a plaster cast of Man Ray’s head; a wooden hand shooting out from of a geometric object, a cast of a hand holding a light bulb; his Surrealist photographic masterpiece Eye with Glass Tear; and a wooden form with a bulbous top from which hangs a piece of string. Untitled (Self-portrait of Man Ray) is a revelation of the artist’s private world - permitting our initiation into a formerly inacessible realm through the negation of the rationale.

    A variant print of this image is in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.



Man Ray

Joan Miró

Gelatin silver print.
9 x 6 5/8 in. (22.9 x 16.8 cm).
Titled 'Miro' in pencil, '31 bis rue Campagne-Premiére' credit, 'Epreuve Originale/ Atelier Man Ray/ Paris', and 'Reproduction Interdite' stamps on the verso.

$25,000 - 35,000 

sold for $56,250

The Arc of Photography...

4 October 2011 6PM
New York