American modern artist, Man Ray, was a leading figure in the Dada and Surrealist movements in the early 20th Century; known primarily for his photography.
Born Emmanuel Rudnitzky, visionary artist Man Ray was the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia. Early on in his career, Man Ray supported himself as a commercial artist, while studying art at night classes in New York. During this time, Man Ray had his first taste of modern art, visiting the Armory Show. Soon after this, Ray rejected the traditional styles of paintings and began creating work in a Cubist style. From 1920 – 1950, Ray lived between France and the United States drawing inspiration from the Dadaists in New York and the Surrealist Movement in Paris. An all-round artist: as well as a painter, Ray gained a reputation as a fashion and portrait photographer – with surrealist tendencies. He was also produced numerous manifestos on Dadaism and Surrealism; and involved in filmmaking, producing a number of experimental and abstract films – such as Un Chien Andalou, on which he collaborated with Salvador Dalí.
Man Ray’s work, whether paintings, sculpture, collage, constructed objects or photography, was always at the forefront of the avant garde. His artwork continues to influence today’s contemporary artists, situating him as one of the modern art worlds pioneers.