New York

Man Ray

Robert Miller Gallery

Man Ray’s “Natural Paintings” offer a pictorial variation on the Surrealist technique of automatic writing. He began producing these works during the ’50s by squeezing colored paint directly from the tube onto a board in a haphazard manner. He then applied even pressure with another board or sheet of paper, spreading the paint out to create irregular amorphous shapes. Unencumbered by preconceived notions of composition and design, the “Natural Paintings” extend the Surrealist impulse to produce works of art without self-consciousness or calculation.

Like the indexical imprints of his earlier Rayographs or the technique in his signatureless airbrush works, the method employed in the “Natural Paintings” distances the author from his process. Man Ray described this newfound process in his autobiography: “By spreading the colors according to the impulse of the moment, I abandoned brushes and

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