Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Woman

Artist:
Man Ray (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1890–1976 Paris)
Date:
1918
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 43.7 x 33.5cm (17 3/16 x 13 3/16in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Gilman Collection, Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.100.206
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
Man Ray began his career as a painter. He took up photography in 1915 when, finding no one who could make photographic reproductions of his paintings to his satisfaction, he decided to make his own. Soon he was making photographs of objects not unlike Marcel Duchamp's "readymades," ordinary objects elevated to the status of art because so designated by the artist, and "assisted readymades," objects that the artist "assisted," or altered, by combining them with others.

Parodying the sequence of the creation of Adam and Eve, Man Ray made "Woman" after he made "Man." "Man" is a photograph of a rotary eggbeater, its handle and beaters forming a visual metaphor of the male genitals. For "Woman," Man Ray assembled equipment from his darkroom--two spherical metal reflectors and six clothespins attached to a plate of glass--in such a way as to suggest the breasts, ribs, and spine of a woman. In that "Man" and "Woman" subvert traditional perceptions of the nude in art, they constitute an essentially Dada gesture. Once photographed, the objects ceased to exist as "man" and "woman"; they were dismantled, their component parts returned to their original use.

The two photographs appeared in "Dadaglobe," a journal edited by the Rumanian poet Tristan Tzara (1886-1963), one of the founders of the Dada movement in Zurich in 1916. They were exhibited in the "Salon Dada," "Exposition International," held at the Galerie Montaigne in Paris in June 1921, shortly before Man Ray moved to Paris from New York.
Tristan Tzara; (sold, Kornfeld and Klipstein, Bern, June 12, 1968, no. 326); Vanguard Corporation; [Arturo Schwartz, Milan, Italy]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, April 4, 1978

Galerie Montaigne, Paris. "Salon Dada," June 6, 1921–June 30, 1921.

Galleria Schwarz. "Man Ray: 60 anni di libertà," June 1, 1971–June 30, 1971.

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. "Man Ray Retrospective," September 24, 1971–November 7, 1971.

Städtisches Museum, Leverkusen. "Medium Fotografie," May 18, 1973–August 5, 1973.

Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus. "New York Dada," December 15, 1973–January 21, 1974.

Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome. "Man Ray: l'occhio e il suo doppio," July 1, 1975–September 30, 1975.

Galleria Milano, Milano. "Dada Exhibition," December 1, 1976–December 31, 1976.

Kunsthaus Zürich. "Malerei und Photographie im Dialog," May 13, 1977–July 24, 1977.

Whitney Museum of American Art. "Photography Rediscovered: American Photographs, 1900-1930," September 19, 1979–November 25, 1979.

Art Institute of Chicago. "Photography Rediscovered: American Photographs, 1900-1930," December 22, 1979–February 4, 1980.

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "From the Gilman Collection: Photographs Preserved in Ink," November 15, 1984–February 26, 1985.

Palais de Tokyo, Paris. "Procédés, Procédés," October 7, 1987–November 30, 1987.

Smithsonian American Art Museum. "Perpetual Motif: The Art of Man Ray," December 2, 1988–February 20, 1989.

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. "Perpetual Motif: The Art of Man Ray," March 19, 1989–May 28, 1989.

Menil Collection. "Perpetual Motif: The Art of Man Ray," June 30, 1989–September 17, 1989.

Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Perpetual Motif: The Art of Man Ray," October 14, 1989–January 7, 1990.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," May 25, 1993–July 4, 1993.

Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," August 7, 1993–October 2, 1993.

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," June 19, 1994–September 11, 1994.

Carrousel du Louvre, Paris. "Constructed Views: Photography and Architecture," November 19, 1998–November 23, 1998.

Whitney Museum of American Art. "The American Century: Art and Culture, 1900-2000," April 22, 1999–September 5, 1999.

Kunsthalle Bielefeld. "Abstract Photography," December 3, 2000–February 18, 2001.

Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas. "Abstract Photography," March 24, 2001–May 3, 2001.

Tate Modern. "Surrealism: Desire Unbound," September 10, 2001–January 1, 2002.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Surrealism: Desire Unbound," February 6, 2002–May 12, 2002.

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "Dada," February 19, 2006–May 14, 2006.

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Dada," June 16, 2006–September 11, 2006.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Framing a Century: Master Photographers, 1840–1940," June 3, 2008–September 1, 2008.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. ""Our Future Is In The Air": Photographs from the 1910s," November 10, 2010–April 10, 2011.

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Dadaglobe Reconstructed," June 12, 2016–September 18, 2016.

Turner, Elizabeth Hutton. Americans in Paris (1921-1931) : Man Ray, Gerald Murphy, Stuart Davis, Alexander Calder. Washington, D.C.: Phillips Collection, 1996. p. 76.

Coelen, Peter van der, and Francesco Stocchi. Brancusi, Rosso, Man Ray: Framing Sculpture. Rotterdam: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, 2014. p. 36.

Sudhalter, Adrian. Dadaglobe Reconstructed. Zurich: Kunsthaus Zürich, 2016. no. 112.



This image is the companion to another entitled Man. See Schwarz 1977, pp. 158–59.
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