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Man Ray

Man Ray
Signed Print

David Hockney

Lithograph, 1974
Signed Print Edition of 100
H 65cm x W 50cm

Critical Review

The signed colour lithographic print Man Ray was released in 1974 and depicts American visual artist Man Ray, one of the most prominent proponents of the 21st-century Surrealist and Dadaist movements, two years before his death. In 1973, Hockney had left England to live in Paris’s 6th arrondissement. Commenting on his arrival in the French capital, Hockney remarked, ‘When I left London to come and live and work in Paris, I hadn’t the least idea of what I was going to paint […] Paris has been painted by so many people.’ Confronted with an overworked subject, Hockney opted to depict the people who lived there and who had contributed to its thriving arts scene. As such, Hockney decided to depict Ray, an American who had spent much of his life in the city. Clutching his signature walking stick, rendered in yellow, Ray is accompanied by objects which reference his long and hugely successful career; to his right, a chequerboard lays on a table which has only two legs in a reference to his gravity-defying paintings, and the 1927 work Chess Set. To the right of his head, a small geometric work sits in an easel, in a pointed allusion to his work’s disruption of traditional unifocal perspective.