Alias Man Ray Mason Klein, Merry Foresta, George Baker, Lauren Schell Dickens

Publication date:
01 Dec 2009
Yale University Press
256 pages: 279 x 210mm
54 b-w + 192 color illus.
Sales territories:

Born Emmanuel Radnitzky, the artist known as Man Ray (1890-1976) revealed multiple artistic identities over the course of his career - New York Dedaist, 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.

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Winner of a 2011 National Jewish Book Award (Visual Arts category)

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.

"Secrecy was [Man Ray's] obsession, his career strategy or possibly his ideological position. In 1921, a flourishing young artist in New York, he moved up to the big time, Paris. There he let it be known that he wished to be someone from nowhere with no ties to anything but art. In Alias Man Ray: The Art of Reinvention . . . , a first-class critical biography accompanying the current exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York, the editor and principal contributor, Mason Klein, points out that there was never a time when Ray spoke frankly about his origins."?Robert Fulford, The National Post (Canada) 

"Highly provocative and always stimulating to the eye." —Robert Leiter, Heritage Florida Jewish News

Winner of the 2011 National Jewish Book Awards in the Visual Arts category, sponsored by the Jewish Book Council

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