Indestructible subjects.

Citation metadata

Author: Nigel Warburton
Date: Mar. 15, 2013
From: TLS. Times Literary Supplement(Issue 5737)
Publisher: NI Syndication Limited
Document Type: Article
Length: 840 words

Document controls

Main content

Article Preview :

Man Ray


National Portrait Gallery, until May 27

Although he thought of himself as a painter, posterity celebrates Man Ray (1890-1976) as a creator of Dadaist objects and an experimental photographer. Yet for much of his early life he worked more prosaically as a studio portraitist, photographing his contemporaries on commission. His interest in photography ebbed and flowed over a career that lasted five decades as he moved back and forth across the Atlantic, but he nevertheless bequeathed an impressive portfolio of portraits of the artistic, musical and literary avant garde, many of which are included in this exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, the first to show the full range of his portraiture. In this chronologically arranged parade of stars, Marcel Duchamp, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Salvador Dali, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Erik Satie, Igor Stravinsky, Berenice Abbott, Lee Miller and Catherine Deneuve all feature. Portraits of the famous are interspersed with those of more obscure contemporaries and friends, together with nudes, fashion photography, and self-portraits. The 150 or so prints, mostly vintage, are simply framed, minimally captioned, and presented in five rooms that tell the story of Man Ray's peregrinations: "New York 1916-20", "Paris 1921-28", "Paris 1929-37", "Hollywood 1940-50", and "Paris 1951--Later Years"....

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A674624994