Man Ray


Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitzky; August 27, 1890 – November 18, 1976) was an American visual artist who spent most of his career in Paris. He was a significant contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal. He produced major works in a variety of media but considered himself a painter above all. He was best known for his pioneering photography, and was a renowned fashion and portrait photographer. He is also noted for his work with photograms, which he called "rayographs" in reference to himself.

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The influential and prolific American photographer and painter adopted the pseudonym Man Ray around 1909. He was a prominent force of Dada and Surrealism, and the only American to play a significant role in the development of those movements. His visits to Alfred Stieglitz's gallery, 291 introduced him to a wide variety of European contemporary artists, such as Picasso, Rodin, and Braque. Like many other artists of his time, he was also greatly influenced by the avant-garde Armory show in New York City in 1913. His paintings from this period show his fascination with the flatness of Modernism and his interest in the patterns of shapes rather than a realistic rendering of subject matter. During his trip to Paris in 1921, Man Ray began to experiment with photography, and may have been introduced to the photogram by Tristan Tzara. He adopted the method and called his works "rayographs," photographic images composed of ordinary objects placed on photo sensitive paper exposed to light. Together with his muse Lee Miller, he developed the solarization process which he used in his fashion and nude photography. With the onset of World War II, he lived in California and concentrated on painting and making objects. He returned to Paris in 1951, where he remained until his death. Man Ray was one of the first artists to make photographs seen as important works of art, equal to that of painting and sculpture.

Country of birth

United States


Artist, assemblage artist, cinematographer, engraver, landscapist, painter, photographer, sculptor

ULAN identifier



Man Ray, Man Rei, Emmanuel Radenski, Emmanuel Radensky, Emmanuel Radnitsky, Emmanuel Radnitzky, Ray [rejected], Emmanuel Rudnitsky, Emmanuel Rudnitzky, Emmanuel Rudnizky, マン·レイ

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Information from the Getty Research Institute's Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License. Accessed May 12, 2024.