I first came across some of Man Ray’s sculptures in an art book I own called History of Modern Art : Painting, Sculpture, Architecture by H.H. Arnason. This is a wonderful book, and has several editions. I couldn’t afford the new one so 4 years ago I bought an older edition online, and it’s one of the best books in my collection.
I also came across him in some of the history of photography books that I have been reading as I find them over the last five years. I finally ordered this biography via inter-library loan and received it today. I am so excited, and it kind of ties in with my current read of Ulysses by James Joyce. I still think Edward Steichen was a better photographer of women than Man Ray, but I am so interested in the period of art before and after World War I, so I was delighted to get this book.
Man Ray: American Artist by Neal Baldwin
Blurb from back cover:
“Man Ray is the quintessential modernist figure – Painter, sculptor, photographer, filmmaker, poet, and philosopher. One of the most fascinating of the Surrealists who transformed the Paris art world during the 1920s, Man Ray was an enigma – a Dadaist who revered the Old Masters, an anarchist pursued by wealthy patrons. Driven to make his mark in as many art forms as possible, he struggled bitterly to win acceptance as a painter even as his skill as a photographer brought him worldwide fame. Man Ray came to know personalities such as Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau, Max Ernst, and Coco Chanel, and he photographed virtually every important figure in the arts on both sides of the Atlantic.”
I also have a book on order from the library called The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women and the Artists They Inspired by Francine Prose
ISBN 0060555254, which covers several interesting people including Lee Miller, who was Man Ray’s lover and apprentice at one time. Or his muse and a talented photographer in her own right who influenced him, depending on what you read.
I shall find out!