“AMONGST THE GREATEST PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE 20TH CENTURY”: MAN RAY’S PHOTOGRAPHS; INSCRIBED BY HIM
Photographs by Man Ray 1920-1934.
Item Number: 15006
Hartford: Hartford, Conn.: James Thrall Soby, 1934.
First edition, with the fictitious second edition labeled on the copyright page. Tall quarto, original spiral bound color-photographic stiff paper wrappers. Inscribed by Man Ray on the title page, “For Roberta Man Ray Paris 1963” with a small drawing of an eye, and a six-line poem in Man Ray’s hand adhered to the inside front cover, which reads. “For Roberta (personal) Even her hands blushed- but her hair- remained as pale as her teeth- menacing-so- I took her hand- and let it go- at that. Man.” The recipient was art dealer and friend of Man Ray’s, Roberta Kimmel Cohn. In very good condition with some rubbing and a light crease to the front panel. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.
“This was Man Ray’s first monograph, and his friends pulled out all the stops to herald it” (Roth, 80). It contains poetry and essays by the leading figures of the Dada and Surrealist movements: André Breton, Paul Éluard, Marcel Duchamp (written under his famous pseudonym “Rrose Selavy”) and Tristan Tzara. “Man Ray’s work introduced a particular note [to Surrealism], since he used photography and recognized early on that this medium could reproduce the effects of object-based art in two-dimensional form. Photography was in a position to preserve the ordinary and to unleash surreal effects” (Icons of Photography, 26). In a short preface entitled “The Age of Light,” Ray cites “individual human emotion and desire” as the “only inspirations” for his pictures. Text in English and French. First edition, second issue, with the fictitious “Second Edition” on the cancel title page placed there by the publisher, who “attempted to generate demand where none existed by suggesting the edition had sold out… After replacing the title pages of these copies… with one stating second edition, he returned them for sale" (Roth, 80). See also Parr & Badger I:108.