In the 1910s the photographer and painter Man Ray had been an instigator of Dada in New York City. Like many others, he was drawn to Paris in the early 1920s and soon replaced the randomness and irrationality of Dada with the fantasy and incongruity of Surrealism. Through his innovative use of photography, Man Ray carved a niche for himself in avant-garde Parisian circles and contributed a distinct visual character to a movement that was firmly grounded in literary and psychoanalytic theory. Here, Meret Oppenheim, a German-born Swiss Surrealist artist soon to be known for her 1936 Breakfast in Fur (a sculptural assemblage of a fur-covered teacup), poses nude and inked beside the flywheel of a printing press. Published in the Surrealist journal Minotaure, the image forged Oppenheim’s reputation as the muse of the Parisian Surrealists.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Inscription: stamped, verso, LR: "MAN RAY - 8 RUE// DU VAL-DE-GRACE// PARIS 5. - FRANCE// DANTON 92-25"
Purchased by Timothy Baum from Man Ray
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 4," March 1, 1994–June 12, 1994.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paris as Muse: Photography, 1840s – 1930s," January 27, 2014–May 4, 2014.