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Image of Space Writing (Self-Portrait) 9899

1987.15

Artist

Man Ray

Title

Space Writing (Self-Portrait)

Creation Date

1935

Century

20th century

Dimensions

3 3/16 in. x 2 5/16 in. (8.1 cm. x 5.87 cm.)

Object Type

photograph

Creation Place

North America, American

Medium and Support

gelatin silver print

Credit Line

Museum Purchase, Lloyd O. and Marjorie Strong Coulter Fund

Copyright

This artwork may be under copyright. For further information, please consult the Museum’s Copyright Terms and Conditions.

Accession Number

1987.15
This photograph constitutes and is a record of Man Ray’s drawing with a penlight in space; the fluid tangle of loops and twists is made visible by the film’s prolonged exposure time. Working without sight and with extreme speed, Ray surrendered his creative process largely to chance. The method aligns with the Surrealist aim to express the subconscious by giving up control in a process often described as automatic writing, or “ecriture automatique.” Man Ray nevertheless claimed this drawing of light rays, with his signature in reverse, as a (punning) self-portrait.

Keywords:
  abstract   black and white   blurred   gestural   light drawing   portraits  

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