Striking Portraits of Famous Figures from Man Ray’s Hollywood Period

Gagosian highlights Man Ray's time in LA and his portraits of famous friends.

From 1940 to 1951, legendary artist Man Ray left Paris to escape the German occupation and moved to Los Angeles. While there, he abandoned his commercial fashion photography for premiere magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and focused on fine art. The photos he created during this period are part of an exciting exhibit at Gagosian in Beverly Hills, open through February 17. More on the show Man Ray’s LA from the gallery:

This exhibition explores the collection of original silver gelatin photographs from Man Ray’s “Hollywood” period. Throughout his vast body of work, Man Ray alluded to relationships between the real and the fictive, with a deft mastery over the liminal territory between the abstract and the figurative form. However, these black-and-white, high contrast, carefully composed works eschew the abstract qualities of his innovative rayographs. Instead, they are striking portraits that document his life, social circle, and surroundings, as well as the landscapes and streetscapes of his wartime sanctuary city. These images not only find their own niche within Man Ray’s work, but also give context to his life in California: Many of the portraits are of famous figures with whom he spent his California years, including Ruth Ford, Ava Gardner, Jennifer Jones, Tilly Losch, Jean Renoir, and Igor Stravinsky.

The images include a portrait of Man Ray with friend and collaborator Marcel Duchamp, who helped Man Ray form the New York group of Dada artists and whose many alter egos were documented by the kindred artist.

See a preview of Man Ray’s LA in our gallery.

© Man Ray Trust/Artists Rights Society
(ARS)/ADAGP, Paris 2018. Courtesy

Jennifer Jones, c. 1944
Vintage gelatin silver print
13 3/8 x 10 5/8 inches
34 x 27 cm (unframed)