Man Ray

American (1890 - 1976)
Man Ray Studio Door 1939 © Man Ray Trust/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2017.


Born 1890
Died 1976
Nationality American

Man Ray was born Emmanuel Radinski, in Philadelphia. In 1915 he met Marcel Duchamp and became involved with the New York Dada group. Man Ray moved to Paris in 1921, where he continued his dada activities and worked as part of the surrealist group. He was able to earn a living as a fashion and portrait photographer, while pursuing creative activities on the side. His artworks took various forms, and included photographs, paintings, objects and collages. A highly inventive photographer, he pioneered several techniques, including 'solarization', invented with his photographic assistant, Lee Miller, who became a photographer in her own right.

Glossary terms

  • A radical artistic and literary movement that was a reaction against the cultural climate that supported the First World War. The Dadaists took an anti-establishment attitude, questioning art's status and favouring performance and collage over traditional art techniques. Many Dadaists went on to become involved with Surrealism.

  • A term used for sculptures incorporating found objects. After the 1940s the word 'assemblage' is more commonly used.


Exhibition finished
Surreal Encounters | Collecting the Marvellous
  • 4 June 2016 to 11 September 2016
Modern One
Exhibition finished
Man Ray Portraits
  • 22 June 2013 to 22 September 2013