Wednesday 3 April 2013

Man Ray - 2

Man Ray Portraits

This post is just a series of images from the Man Ray exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery and is a continuation of the previous post.

Paris 1929-37

Lee Miller, 1929

Helen Tamiris, 1929

Lee Miller, 1929

Man Ray (asleep), 1930

Man Ray lying rumpled in bed with a cast of the Venus de Milo above his head; beside him on the table stands a studio lamp with a clamp, its shade reflecting the surroundings in miniature, next to a chunky lens with a gleaming rim. It's a mis-a-scene about his work, the sources of his inspiration and the means by which he makes it visible - the portrait demystifies the artist-photographer with an emphatic lack of self-glamorisation.

Le Corbusier, 1930

Ithell Colquhoun, 1932

Coco Chanel, 1935

Solarised portrait of Lee Miller, 1929

Lee Miller in Man Ray's Rue Campagne-Premiere Studio, 1929

Kiki and Therese Treize behind Giacometti's Plaster sculpture of 1932, Le Palais a Quatre Heures du Matin

Dora Maar, 1936

Self-Portrait, 1936

Here, Man Ray depicts himself wielding drumsticks as if they were a puppeteer's wands, beside a photograph customised with a cymbal on a spring: his eyes mischievously look at at the camera, under strongly peaked eyebrows, while his hands and body loom in giant shadow behind him - in his persona of ironic magician, impish impressario, mock master of illusion.

Virginia Woolf, 1934

Interesting use of lighting where he illuminates Woolf's face, moulding it with multiple shadings, a photographic sfumato, with her poised inwardness and illuminated irises.

Aldous Huxley, 1934

Joan Miro, 1936

Model wearing a Lucien Lelong gown, seated in a wheelbarrow by Surrealist artist Oscar Dominguez, 1937

Dorothea Tanning, 1942

His ambivalent feelings about photography as an art made him reject it for several periods, until the need for money drove him back to the camera - the portraits he did while he was in Hollywood are examples of this return to photography: I did not think they were anything as good as the earlier portraits, so have not included them in this post.

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