Man Ray

La Volière [Aviary] (1919)

About this artwork

'Aviary' depicts the artist's New York studio, complete with a dressmaker's dummy, which Man Ray said he kept for a companion. A chair can also be seen in the blue area to the left of the dummy. Man Ray began making airbrush paintings around 1916, inspired by the paint spray he had been using to make mechanical drawings for a publisher. The airbrush was a way of liberating himself from conventional ways of making pictures; he liked the fact that he was able to paint without even touching the page. The French title, 'La Volière', as well as meaning 'aviary', is also slang for a brothel.

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  • title: La Volière [Aviary]
  • accession number: GMA 3888
  • artist: Man RayAmerican (1890 - 1976)
  • gallery: On Loan
  • object type: Work on paper
  • subject: Dada
  • date created: 1919
  • measurements: 70.00 x 55.00 cm
  • credit line: Purchased with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Art Fund 1995
  • copyright: © Man Ray Trust/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016.
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Man Ray

Man Ray

Man Ray was born Emmanuel Radinski, in Philadelphia. In 1915 he met Marcel Duchamp and became involved with the New York Dada group. Man Ray moved to Paris in 1921, where he continued his dada activities and worked as part of the surrealist group. He was able to earn a living as a fashion and portrait photographer, while pursuing creative activities on the side. His artworks took various forms, and included photographs, paintings, objects and collages. A highly inventive photographer, he pioneered several techniques, including 'solarization', invented with his photographic assistant, Lee Miller, who became a photographer in her own right.