The American born, Parisian-based artist Man Ray (1890-1976) has been called one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. This exhibition—with over 100 rare black and white photographs, many reunited for the first time with the African objects that they depict—presents how Man Ray and others, including Alfred Stieglitz, Charles Sheeler, Cecil Beaton, and Walker Evans contributed to a Western understanding of African art. This groundbreaking exhibition reveals photography’s complex engagement with it by exploring African objects in the context of modernism, New York’s Harlem Renaissance, surrealism, and the worlds of high fashion and popular culture in America and France in the 1920’s and ‘30s.
Man Ray, African Art and the Modernist Lens was curated by Wendy Grossman, Ph.D. and organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC. The exhibition was funded in part by grants from the Terra Foundation for American Art, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Dedalus Foundation. Partial support for the exhibition at the UNM Art Museum is made possible by the Regents' Speaker Endowment, the Albuquerque Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and the New Mexico Office of African American Affairs.