APRIL 2-JUNE 25, 2000
A PRACTICAL DREAMER: THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF MAN RAY
Exhibition
Gallery A



   
"The streets are full of admirable craftsmen, but so few practical dreamers."--Man Ray
Throughout his career as a painter, sculptor, filmmaker, and photographer, American artist Man Ray conjured images that expanded aesthetic boundaries. His prolific and influential practice, especially his work in photography, has been noted for its technical innovation; however, as the quote above suggests, he was not content simply to be a craftsman. Instead, he used his mastery of the photographic medium to explore the irrational, the incongruous, and the unexpected, and he became one of the only American artists who was central to both the Dada and Surrealist movements. He explored many Dada and Surrealist themes in his work, including a fascination with dreams and the unconscious and the exoticization of non-Western cultures. This exhibition presents more than 100 photographs, books, and related materials to provide an overview of Man Ray's extraordinary accomplishments in the photographic arena.


 
 
LE VIOLON D'INGRES (INGRES' VIOLIN)
Man Ray
LE VIOLON D'INGRES
(INGRES' VIOLIN)
 
1924


Born Emmanuel Radnitsky in Philadelphia in 1890, Man Ray grew up in Brooklyn and began his career as a painter. He bought his first camera in 1914, intending to use it to document his work, but soon turned his attention to the exploration of photography as an art form. In 1921, at the urging of fellow Dadaists Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia, Man Ray moved to Paris to join the growing cultural avant-garde. There he worked in painting and photography while supporting himself through portrait commissions and fashion photography, which appeared regularly in such magazines as Harper's Bazaar and Vogue during the 1930s. After the Germans invaded Paris in 1940, Man Ray returned to the United States, settling in Hollywood with the intention of pursuing filmmaking. Although he stayed in Hollywood for a decade, he became disenchanted with the film world and instead spent his time painting, writing, and taking photographs. In 1951 he returned to Paris, where he lived and worked until his death in 1976.

LARMES (TEARS)
Man Ray
LARMES (TEARS) 
19301933

A Practical Dreamer: The Photographs of Man Ray was organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and drawn from its extensive archive of Man Ray's photographs. It includes more than 100 vintage prints that span the years 1916 to 1951 and provide a broad sampling of his imagery, which ranges from cityscapes, portraits, and nudes to abstract compositions and Surrealist scenarios. Constantly challenging the technical possibilities of the medium, he experimented with contact printing, under- and overexposing prints, superimposing negatives, and shooting through various fabrics and filters; a large selection of such explorations will be on view. His work as a portrait photographer is highlighted through photographs of cultural luminaries such as Marcel Duchamp, Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, and Marcel Proust; the exhibition also features several images of his wife, Juliet.

NOIRE ET BLANCHE (BLACK AND WHITE)
Man Ray
NOIRE ET BLANCHE
(BLACK AND WHITE)
 
1926


As a complement to this rich body of photographic work, the exhibition will include a continuous presentation of three of Man Ray's Surrealist films--Le retour à la raison (1923), Emak Bakia (1926), and L'étoile de mer (1928-1929). A selection of journals, artists' books, exhibition catalogues, and other photo-related materials will place his work in a broader cultural context, in particular his groundbreaking fashion photography. Finally, a grouping of works by his friends and contemporaries in the Dada and Surrealist movements--drawn from local collections--will situate Man Ray's work in the context of the avant-garde community in which he worked.

   

 

 



RELATED EVENTS


FREE THURSDAYS
FRENCH SURREALIST FILMS FROM THE RUBEN COLLECTION
THURSDAYS, JUNE 8, 15, 22, AND 29, 2000
In conjunction with A Practical Dreamer: The Photographs of Man Ray, rare screenings of Surrealist films by Man Ray's colleagues are presented throughout the month.


MAY EVENTS

MACK LECTURE
BODIES OF DESIRE: THE COLLABORATION BETWEEN MAN RAY AND LEE MILLER SUNDAY, MAY 4, 2 PM FREE AUDITORIUM
SUNDAY, MAY 4, 2 PM
Art historian Whitney Chadwick explores the complex relationship between Man Ray and American photographer Lee Miller.


FREE FIRST SATURDAY
PRACTICAL DREAMERS
SATURDAY, MAY 6, 11 AM-4 PM
Discover artist Man Ray's many photographic portraits, see a spirited performance and imaginative animated films, make art to take home, and more. All activities are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis.


FREE THURSDAY
GALLERY TALK
THURSDAY, MAY 11, 6:30 PM
Take an in-depth look at Man Ray's art in the context of other avant-garde artists, writers, and thinkers of the 1920s and 1930s. Gallery A.


SUNDAY FUN
MAGNIFICENT MAN RAY MOTHER'S DAY
SUNDAY, MAY 14, 1-2:30 PM
Children ages 3-8 and their favorite adults explore the exhibition A Practical Dreamer: The Photographs of Man Ray and construct surreal photo collages using Polaroids, paint, and paper.


FREE THURSDAY
GALLERY TALK
THURSDAY, MAY 25, 6:30 PM
Examine Man Ray's photography in terms of its experimental and dreamlike technical qualities, such as the signature "solarization" effect present in much of his work. Gallery A.


APRIL EVENTS

LIVE MUSIC/SILENT FILM
TOM VERLAINE
SATURDAY, APRIL 1, 8 PM
Tom Verlaine, guiding force behind the band Television, accompanies classic silent films by Man Ray and other avant-garde artists.

OPENING-DAY CURATOR'S TOUR
SUNDAY, APRIL 2, 2 PM
Exhibition curator Katherine Ware, Curator of Photo-graphs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, leads an enlightening tour of Man Ray's work.

WALKER AFTER HOURS
IT'S DREAMY
FRIDAY, APRIL 14, 5:30-9 PM
"The streets are full of admirable craftsmen, but so few practical dreamers," said Surrealist Man Ray. As the tax man cometh, take a break and enjoy a non-taxing evening exploring the exhibition A Practical Dreamer: The Photographs of Man Ray.

In Focus: Man RayIN THE WALKER ART CENTER SHOPS
The publication In Focus: Man Ray, a compact volume published by the J. Paul Getty Museum, features 47 reproductions, plus commentary and contributions from Katherine Ware, Weston Naef, and others. Softcover: $17.50 ($15.75 Walker members).

A PRACTICAL DREAMER: THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF MAN RAY WAS ORGANIZED BY THE J. PAUL GETTY MUSEUM AND CURATED BY KATHERINE WARE, FORMERLY ASSISTANT CURATOR OF PHOTOGRAPHS AT THE GETTY AND CURRENTLY THE CURATOR OF PHOTOGRAPHS AT THE PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART. THE WALKER'S PRESENTATION OF

THIS EXHIBITION IS MADE POSSIBLE BY GENEROUS SUPPORT FROM DAYTON'S COMMUNITY-GIVING INITIATIVE, PROJECT IMAGINE; GOLDMAN, SACHS & CO.; ALLIANCE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT CORPORATION; INGRID AND ALFRED HARRISON; AND BEVERLY AND JOHN ROLLWAGEN.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY MAN RAY ARE GELATIN SILVER PRINTS, COLLECTION THE J. PAUL GETTY MUSEUM, LOS ANGELES; ©THE MAN RAY TRUST ARS-ADAGP.