17 May 2006
MAN RAY'S ELECTRICITE RAYOGRAPHS
Rayograph (Five light bulbs), 1930
unique gelatin silver print
'MAN RAY/31bis, RUE/CAMPAGNE/PREMIÈRE/PARIS XIVe' credit stamp on verso
print: 11½ x 9 1/8in. (29.2 x 23.3cm.)
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de l'Ecotais, Man Ray: Rayographies, Editions Léo Scheer, 2002, p.259, cat.235, for the published photogravure variant with lamp shade (pl.9: La Maison) in Electricité.
Man Ray once again turned to light bulbs to create this arresting image. The two darker light bulbs are fitted into their sockets and the cord/fixture is partially visible, suggesting that light has been emitted. In the published variant (fig.1), Man Ray added a lampshade to help situate the image within the realm of the home. He titled this 'La Maison'. One of the two smaller light bulb shapes appears darker: this effect was achieved by removing the object from the photographic paper during exposure. In typical Man Ray fashion, what appears at first glance to be an effortless composition reveals upon closer inspection his complex image-making process.
This work will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Raisonné of the Rayographs being prepared by Man Ray Research Scholar Steven Manford.
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