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Involute 1917

Not on display

Man Ray turned to making collages as a way of de-personalising art. This work was made during the early stages of New York Dada. The title means 'intricate' and 'curled', and the collage is composed of spiralling forms. The letters 'INV' and the 'O' beneath, combined with the cut-out metal lute, spell out the title in a visual pun. The long screw form on the left is echoed by the actual screw which holds the metal plate in place. The threads in a transparent wallet, tacked on to the picture, refer to the strings of the lute.

Glossary Open


An image constructed from found materials, such as photographs, paper or fabric, glued to a surface, sometimes with additional painted or drawn elements. It is an art form particularly associated with Dada and Surrealism.


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.

Collage, Dada


  • Acc. No. GMA 2064
  • Medium Mixed-media collage on card laid on laminated board
  • Size 61.50 x 46.50 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1978