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Cover for Alias Man Ray

Alias Man Ray

Mason Klein, Merry Foresta (Contributions by), George Baker (Contributions by), Lauren Schell Dickens (Contributions by)


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“[An artist] so deforms the subject as almost to hide the identity of the original, and creates a new form.”—Man Ray

Born Emmanuel Radnitzky, the artist known as Man Ray (1890–1976) revealed multiple artistic identities over the course of his career—New York Dadaist, Parisian Surrealist, international portraitist, and fashion photographer––and produced important works as a photographer, painter, filmmaker, writer, and maker of objects. Alias Man Ray considers how the artist’s life and career were shaped by his turn-of-the-century American Jewish immigrant experience and his lifelong evasion of his past.

As an exploration of the artist’s deliberate cultural ambiguity, which allowed him to become the first American artist to be accepted by the Paris avant garde, this book examines the dynamic connection between Man Ray’s working-class origins, his assimilation, the evolution of his art, and his willful construction of his own artistic persona, as evidenced in a series of subtle, encrypted self-references throughout the artist’s career. Beautifully illustrated, Alias Man Ray will stand as a definitive study of an incomparable figure in 20th-century art.

Praise For Alias Man Ray

Winner in Visual Arts Category, 2011 National Jewish Book Awards  

Yale University Press, 9780300146837, 256pp.

Publication Date: December 1, 2009

About the Author

MASON KLEIN is Curator of Fine Arts at The Jewish Museum. GEORGE BAKER is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles. MERRY L. FORESTA is the founding director of the Smithsonian Photography Initiative. LAUREN DICKENS is the Neubauer Family Foundation Curatorial Assistant at The Jewish Museum.