Yousuf KARSH 1908-2002
'Man Ray' 1965 gelatin silver photograph © Estate of Yousuf Karsh
Born Emmanuel Radnitsky in Philadelphia in 1890, Man Ray was raised in New York, where he began his artistic career. He was a regular at Alfred Stieglitz’s Gallery 291, and attended classes at the Ferrer Centre before meeting Marcel Duchamp, who was to become a lifelong friend and collaborator. With Duchamp, Man Ray founded the Society of Independent Artists in 1916 and published the pamphlet New York Dada in 1920. In the same year the artist created his famous readymade The enigma of Isidore Ducasse, followed in 1921 by Cadeau, both of which feature in the National Gallery’s collection.
In 1921 Man Ray relocated to Paris. It was here, among the artists of the bohemian Montparnasse district, that he began to work in the Surrealist style of photography for which he is best known. In 1966 Man Ray created two screen prints and a lithograph at Gemini GEL after visiting the studio out of interest while setting up his retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The three screen prints Untitled, Hands, and One hand, are based on the artist’s signature ‘rayograms’.
Provoked by racial prejudice, the Radnitzky family changes their surname to Ray. Around this time Emmanuel adopts the name ‘Man’, believed to stem from the childhood nickname ‘Manny’. For the rest of his life he is known only as Man Ray.
Publishes Dadaist pamphlet, The Ridgefield Gazook
Publishes New York Dada with Duchamp
Creates readymade, The enigma of Isidore Ducasse
Moves to Paris, France and settles in the bohemian Montparnasse district. Man Ray stays in this district for the next twenty years and develops his signature avant-garde style of photography.
Included in exhibition, Salon Dada, Galerie Montaigne, Paris
Makes film, L’Etoile de mer
Solo exhibition, Man Ray, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
Man Ray died in Paris on November 18
Emilie Owens, 2007
This chronology provides an overview of selected biographical information, major solo and group exhibitions held within the artist's own lifetime.
Last updated September 2014