The organizers of the exhibition called Man Ray: Unconcerned But Not Indifferent ask a very important question at the beginning of their catalog, could there possibly be anything new to add to it already well known and frequently exhibited corpus of Man Ray? This book draws on the collection of Man Ray's work that has remained largely unseen since it was brought to the
For me this book is interesting because Man Ray is one of those artists who I thought I knew but upon reading this book I discovered I actually knew little about. For instance, somehow I had missed that he was an American born in
In terms of a bookmaking Man Ray's most famous works Facile and Photography is NOT an Art are well documented but through this catalog I was interested to discover a small book printed called 1929. Apparently at a meeting of the surrealists in
The date of the book mentioned above is interesting for it was published around the time that Kiki (Alice Prin) and Man Ray had ended their relationship and it was also the year that Kiki published her now famous memoirs. Of course, not knowing Man Ray’s personality but knowing that he was deeply effected by relationships when they ended (Lee Miller being one example where he created works that hint at this) I wonder if his willingness to release these photographs to a wider audience had something to do with them serving as a kind of response to Kiki’s memoirs and their break-up.
Man Ray: Unconcerned But Not Indifferent is beautifully made and published by La Fabrica Editorial. At almost 400 pages and with approximately 350 illustrations it is a substantial contribution to the understanding of this remarkable artist. The book is cleanly designed and divides the work into sections according to his four working periods in
La Fabrica also the publisher of the Conversations with Contemporary Photographers series that I had written about last month. They also have a series of books under the series title of BlowUp Libros Unicos, one of which is a title called Goodnight Man Ray: Conversations with the Artist by Pierre Bourgeade. This book includes several interviews between Bourgeade and Man Ray that took place in 1972. This is a handsome series of books that cover a wide range of topics from Pier Paolo Pasolini to Barry Gifford to HL Mencken. Unfortunately none of this series have English translations, all are in Spanish.