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Details
MAN RAY (1890-1976)
Untitled, 1921-1922
gelatin silver print
signed and annotated 'epreuve provisoire tiré du Champs Delicieux' in ink (on the verso)
image/sheet: 9 1/8 x 6 7/8in. (23.2 x 17.5cm.)
Provenance
From the artist;
to Tristan Tzara, Paris;
to a Private Collection, Zürich;
with Timothy Baum, New York
Literature
Modernist Masterworks to 1925 from 'the deLIGHTed eye', A Private Collection, International Center of Photography, New York, 1985, p. 13
Exhibited
Modernist Masterworks to 1925 from 'the deLIGHTed eye', A Private Collection, International Center of Photography, New York, May 15-June 16, 1985

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Lot Essay

Man Ray's Rayographs are one of the great triumphs of photography. They bear the spirit, wit and lightness of the artist's touch, as well as the suggestion that a photograph can do almost anything, even penetrate solid matter.
This gelatin silver print, a printer's proof from an original Rayograph (presumed lost), contains a variety of forms, some of which are architects' drawing tools. None of them is fully described or revealed; some appear flat while others appear foreshortened. The egg at the lower right is Man Ray's reference to originality and creativity.
This print is a unique test-printing for number 11 of the 12 images in Champs Delicieux and was preserved in the collection of Tristan Tzara, one of the protagonists in the making of this portfolio. As such it is a unique testament to his partnership with Man Ray and to a ground-breaking experimental project. Published privately in Paris in 1922 in a planned edition of 40, only approximately 15 sets of the portfolio are known to have been completed.

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