New York

Man Ray, The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself with Her Shadows, 1916, oil on canvas, 52 x 72 3/8".

New York

“Alias Man Ray: The Art of Reinvention”

The Jewish Museum
1109 Fifth Avenue
July 25, 2013–March 14, 2010

Curated by Mason Klein

Man Ray’s art demonstrates remarkable heterogeneity: Along with the photographs for which he’s best known, the artist made paintings, drawings, sculptural assemblages, films, even the stray book. According to curator Mason Klein—who assembled the two hundred–some works in the artist’s first US multimedia retrospective in more than twenty years—much of Man Ray’s disparate output reflects an ongoing concealment of his Russian-Jewish roots, a project epitomized by his adoption of a pithy nom de plume in lieu of his unmistakably ethnic given name, Emmanuel Radnitzky. While a provocative gambit, using the stratagem of identity politics is a risky move: Will Klein’s presentation result in a more nuanced appreciation of this avant-garde icon or manufacture a smoking gun that simplifies Man Ray’s protean oeuvre?