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Monday, November 09, 2009

ALIAS MAN RAY: THE ART OF REINVENTION

OPENS AT THE JEWISH MUSEUM ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15TH

MAJOR EXHIBITION SURVEYS ARTIST’S CAREER IN OVER 200 WORKS

New York, NY – A trailblazing figure in 20th-century art, Man Ray (1890-1976) revealed multiple artistic identities over the course of his career – Dadaist, Parisian Surrealist, international portrait and fashion photographer – and produced many important and enduring works as a photographer, painter, filmmaker, writer, sculptor, and object maker.  Relatively few people know that he was born Emmanuel Radnitzky to Russian Jewish immigrants.  In fact, he spent a lifetime suppressing his background to the point of denying he was ever called anything but Man Ray.

The Jewish Museum will present Alias Man Ray: The Art of Reinvention from November 15, 2009 through March 14, 2010, a major exhibition considering how the artist’s life and career were shaped by his turn-of-the-century American Jewish immigrant experience and his lifelong evasion of his past.  The exhibition explores the deliberate cultural ambiguity of Man Ray who became the first American artist to be accepted by the avant-garde in Paris.  It also examines the dynamic connection between Man Ray’s assimilation, the evolution of his art, and his willful construction of a distinctive artistic persona, as evidenced in a series of subtle, encrypted self-references throughout his career.

Visitors to Alias Man Ray will be privy to the artist’s endless experimentation in over 200 works including photographs, paintings, sculptures and objects, drawings, films and a selection of his writings. As the first major multimedia Man Ray show at a New York City museum since 1974, the exhibition will present many iconic works like the photographs Le Violon d’Ingres (1924) and Noire et Blanche (1926); the paintings War (A.D. MCMXIV) (1914), The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself with Her Shadows (1915-16) and La Fortune (1938); and the painted screen La Fôret Dorée de Man Ray (1950).  Two short silent films by Man Ray: Le retour à la raison (1923), the artist’s first film, and Emak-Bakia (1926), whose title means “leave me alone,” as well as excerpts from Man Ray: Prophet of the Avant-Garde, a 1997 American Masters production, will be on view in the exhibition.

Man Ray engaged in a constant process of self-inscription and erasure, managing to outwit anyone who wanted to label him. Like his fellow Dadaist and close friend Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray took delight in playing games and confounding expectations.  With his steadfast independence and his need to explore every artistic avenue, Man Ray forged a vision that changed the very way art was conceived.

The exhibition has been organized by Mason Klein, Curator at The Jewish Museum.  The accompanying 256-page catalogue with 246 illustrations, co-published by Yale University Press and The Jewish Museum, includes essays by Mr. Klein, Merry A. Foresta, and George Baker, with an illustrated timeline by Lauren Schell Dickens presenting the facts of Man Ray’s life in the cultural and historical context of his times. 

Museum admission is $12.00 for adults, $10.00 for senior citizens, $7.50 for students, free for children under 12 and Jewish Museum members.  Admission is free on Saturdays. 
http://www.thejewishmuseum.org
212.423.3200 
1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street,
Manhattan

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