MAN RAY (1890-1976)
MAN RAY (1890-1976)
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MAN RAY (1890-1976)

Maisons ennemies

MAN RAY (1890-1976)
Maisons ennemies
signed, dated and inscribed 'man Ray 1933 maisons ennemies' (lower right)
oil on canvas
16 1⁄8 x 16 1⁄8 in. (41.2 x 41.2 cm.)
Painted in 1933
William N. Copley, New York, by whom acquired directly from the artist in 1948; his sale, Sotheby's, New York, 5 November 1979, lot 34.
Waddington Galleries Ltd, London.
Acquired from the above on 14 June 1980, and thence by descent to the present owner.
'Intervention surréaliste', in Documents 34, Brussels, 1934, p. 77 (illustrated).
C. Zervos, Histoire de l’Art Contemporain, Paris, 1938, p. 443 (illustrated).
Exh cat., Man Ray Photographe, Paris, 1981, p. 206 (illustrated in situ in its preliminary state, fig. 260)
J.-H. Martin, Man Ray, Objets de mon affection, Sculptures et objets, Catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1983, p. 175 (illustrated in situ).
Paris, Galerie Cahiers d’Art, Man Ray, 1935, no. 8, p. 128 (illustrated).
London, New Burlington Galleries, The International Surrealist Exhibition, June - July 1936, no. 310, p. 27 (dated '1929').
Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, E.L.T. Mesens presénte Trois peintres surréalistes, René Magritte, Man Ray, Yves Tanguy, December 1937, no. 41.
London, The London Gallery Ltd, Man Ray, February 1939, no. 31, p. 3 (illustrated, p. 11).
Besançon, Palais Granvelle, Surréalisme et précurseurs, June 1961, no. 130, p. 46.
Los Angeles, County Museum of Art, Man Ray, October - December 1966, no. 36, p. 55 (illustrated p. 64, with incorrect dimensions).
New York, Cordier & Ekstrom, Man Ray, A Selection of Paintings, January - February 1970 (illustrated, with incorrect dimensions)
New York, The New York Cultural Center, Man Ray, Inventor, Painter, Poet, December 1974 - March 1975, no. 29 (illustrated, with incorrect dimensions); this exhibition later travelled to London, The Institute of Contemporary Arts, Man Ray, April - June 1975, no. 26 (with incorrect dimensions); and Rome, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Man Ray, l’occhio e il suo doppio, dipinti, collages, disegni, invenzioni fotografiche, oggetti d’affezione, libri, cinema, July - September 1975, no. 107 (illustrated).
Further Details
Andrew Strauss and Timothy Baum of the Man Ray Expertise Committee have confirmed the authenticity of this work under the reference number 00334-P-2024 and that it will be included in the Catalogue of Paintings of Man Ray, currently in preparation.

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Ottavia Marchitelli
Ottavia Marchitelli Senior Specialist, Head of The Art of The Surreal Sale

Lot Essay

‘[I] have two strings to my bow,’ Man Ray once stated, ‘or rather, two arrows: painting and photography’ (quoted in Enigma and Desire: Man Ray Paintings, exh. cat., New York, 2019, p. 11). Painted in 1933, Maisons ennemies dates from a prolific moment in the artist’s career during which he was pursuing his distinctive form of Surrealism in both mediums. This same year, Man Ray exhibited in the landmark Exposition surréaliste at the Galerie Pierre Colle, before travelling with Marcel Duchamp to Cadaqués and then Barcelona, where they joined Salvador Dalí and his partner, Gala. ‘It was inevitable that the continued contact with painters should keep smoldering in me my first passion – painting,’ Man Ray described his life in the 1930s. ‘Although the demands of my photographic work had increased, I was able to organize my schedule so that I could devote time to drawing and painting, if only as a relief from my daily routine. Ideas came to me that demanded a more flexible medium for their expression than the rigidity of the camera’ (Self Portrait, London, 2012, p. 254). The bright red lips of the two figure’s faces was a central motif of Man Ray’s at this time. A pair of lips floating in the sky stands as the subject of Man Ray’s great Surrealist painting, A l’heure de l'observatoire - Les amoureux (1932-1934), which he was working on at the same time.

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