Andy Warhol Man Ray (F & S II.148)Facts | History | Meaning
Catalogue Title: Man Ray (F & S II.148) Year: 1974 Size 31 1/2″ x 31 1/2″ 80cm x 80cm Medium: Screenprint on Strathmore Bristol Paper Edition: Edition of 100, signed, numbered and dated '74 in ball-point pen on verso; 20 HC signed and numbered in pencil on verso.
Andy Warhol Man Ray (F & S II.148)Meaning & History
Man Ray was Andy Warhol's favourite artist. In this print, his warmth and personal feeling comes across in painterly colours.
Man Ray is a screenprint produced in 1974 of artist Man Ray, a key figure in Dadaism and Surrealism. It is of particular interest as a work that features a fellow artist whom Warhol admired. It is the largest in one of two identical screenprints of the same year.
The screenprint was originally taken from a Polaroid photograph of Man Ray, as were many of the artist’s portraits. Man Ray himself was perhaps best-known for his experiments in photography, creating dream-like images and collages. Though the artists appear different stylistically, their appreciation for the medium and its possibilities are of the same essence, and perhaps for this reason Man Ray was Warhol’s favourite artist.
Warhol’s warmth for Man Ray transpires in his painterly and colourful rendering – rather than using ‘Day Glo’ colours in characteristic blocks, he has carefully shaded the sitter in diffferent colours against a backdrop red. Ray appears engaged in thought with a cigarette in his mouth, looking away from the viewer. Overall, this is a nuanced portrayal of the artist’s subject that offers a rare insight into Warhol’s personal world. When Man Ray passed away two years later, in 1976, Warhol recorded a film ‘Letter to Man Ray’, a 20 min monologue that documented his memory of Man Ray visiting his apartment to be photographed. This would of course lead to the present screenprint being created, and is a reminder of the work’s sentimental underpinning.
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