Bubble Emerging from Clay Pipe and Frosted Leaf

Bubble Emerging from Clay Pipe and Frosted Leaf


Man Ray

(American, 1890-1976)

Gelatin silver print, photogram

Image: 40 x 29.7 cm (15 3/4 x 11 11/16 in.); Matted: 55.9 x 45.7 cm (22 x 18 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1984.23



One of the 20th century's most inventive and witty photographers, Man Ray was one of several artists who rediscovered the photogram technique. This cameraless approach had first been used during the early history of photography by William Henry Fox Talbot and Anna Atkins. Bubble Emerging from Clay Pipe and Frosted Leaf reflects Man Ray's preoccupation with ordinary articles brought together by chance, ambiguity, and unconscious association. For him, the down-turned pipe bowl symbolized lost dreams and the separated leaves referred to the Surrealists leaving Paris in the face of the oncoming second World War.

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