In this comprehensive retrospective exhibition, the KunstHausWien presents one of the most significant photographers of the 20th century: Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitzky, 1890 – 1976). Rudolf Kicken, the curator of the exhibition, selected nearly 160 exhibits from museums and private collections situated across Europe and the USA. The exhibitions consists mainly of rare vintage prints, some of which have never before been shown in Europe, respectively, been accessible to the public in general.
Man Ray became one of the most sought after Portrait photographers of his time, simultaneously influencing the aesthetic approach of such renowned fashion magazines as VOGUE and Harper’s Bazaar; e.g. by photographing his models in front of Brancusi´s pedestals or Giacometti´s back ground decorations. At the same time, in experimental films like “L´Etoile de mer” and “Emak Bakia” – stills of which can be seen in the exhibition – he explored this medium’s potential of speed and movement.
In his statement: “ What I can’t paint, I photograph. And what I can’t express through photography, I paint”, he managed to transcend the entrenched categorizations which, even today, continue to be widely accepted.