The constant motif of Man Ray's life was liberation, change, and transgression: whether in name, medium, style, or content, he sought to free the object or subject of its limitations, just as he sought to free himself from his own personal origins and outsider past.
The exhibition will demonstrate how the artist's assimilation, his emergence from an immigrant world of stereotype, ethnicity, and fixed identity, produced a dynamic polarity of revelation and concealment.
It will examine the myriad means he used to create this willful construction of veiled identity, revealing a hide-and-seek game of encrypted self-reference seen throughout his oeuvre. His relentless chronicling of his career through self-portraits exemplifies this conundrum, as does his autobiography, "Self-Portrait," which, without dates or reference to his family or origins, purported to chronicle his life.
Alias Man Ray argues that issues of identity are central to the interpretation of Man Ray's work, and that through his lifelong need for anonymity, his constant self-remaking and chronicling, the artist managed to shadow if not totally occlude his personal history.