For the first 30 years of the 20th century, Montparnasse was a hotbed of artistic activity and the centre of avant-garde Europe. Man Ray was there to document it. He photographed the artists, writers and poets. Within a year of his arrival, he was invited to be Gertrude Stein's official portraitist and to record the image of Marcel Proust on his deathbed. He photographed Picasso and Peggy Guggenheim, made films alongside Andre Breton and played chess with Marcel Duchamp. Man Ray's colourful biography is merged with his black-and-white images to create an intimate perspective on the legendary Left Bank of Paris in the years between the two World Wars.
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The Paris dada manifesto of 1921 "Dada Overthrows Everything" posed a dare to posterity: "What does Dada do? 50 francs reward for anyone who finds the way to explain us." Cultural historian Herbert Lottman finds a great way to explain dada: by focusing on its court photographer, Man Ray. Man Ray's Montparnasse brings you into the salons of Peggy Guggenheim and Gertrude Stein, and gives context to his dazzling photos: his naked mistress Kiki impersonating a violin; Duchamp impersonating a woman named Rrose Selavy (pronounced "c'est la vie"); Picasso as a toreador; and Proust on his deathbed, asleep at last, seemingly at peace and in some sort of reverie.
If one man's life could sum up the explosively creative international arts enclave Montparnasse in Paris between the wars, doubtless it would be Man Ray. Who else crossed paths with Hemingway, Mayakovski, Calder, James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, Atget, Satie, Cocteau, the battling bohemians André Breton and Tristan Tzara, and Arno Breker, who wound up as Hitler's favorite sculptor? It was a tumultuously innovative time. The antiwar Swiss loathed the elitist French dadaists; dadaists quarreled with surrealists. Breton broke a writer's arm with his cane because he badmouthed Picasso, Duchamp, and Gide. When Malcolm Cowley punched out a reactionary restaurateur, it was a great career move--his fame spurred his nascent literary career. Apollinaire warned young dada friends against Cocteau ("Don't trust Cocteau! He's a cheat and a chameleon!"), because he was a darling of high society. Eluard said the surrealists would "shoot him down like a stinking animal."
What made Man Ray an instant insider was his skill with the camera and his refusal to join the culture wars. "My neutral position was invaluable to all," he said. "I became an official recorder of events and personalities." "He was like the kid on the block with the guitar invited to everyone's party," writes Lottman. "He lived a double life, dressing for dinner in society, then reassuming a bohemian posture for life among the writers and painters."
Lottman's book is delightful, a quick read that makes legendary names in the history of art come alive as wildly misbehaving young people. When Henry Miller would drunkenly harangue a café, he earned a catcall: "Why don't you write a book?" Reading Lottman, you get a vivid sense of how the overlapping lives in that astounding time and place erupted in art. It's a privilege to be invited to such a historic party. --Victoria EllisonAbout the Author:
Herbert Lottman was born and raised in New York City, but he has lived most of his adult life in France. He first came to Paris as a Fulbright fellow in 1949; when he returned it was to open a European office for an American book publisher. Over the years Lottman has contributed to a number of American newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, the Herald Tribune, and Harper's Magazine; he is now international correspondent of the book trade journal Publishers Weekly, which has taken him to Asia, Africa, Latin America, nearly everywhere in Europe, and even at times to the United States. Lottman has published a dozen books in the Unites States, the best known of which are Albert Camus: A Biography, The Left Bank: Writers, Artists, and Politics from the Popular Front to the Cold War, and biographies of Philippe Petain, Gustave Flaubert, Colette, and Jules Verne. Most of them have also been published in the United Kingdom and translated into French and Spanish; a number have also appeared in German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Polish, and Czech.
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Descripción Harry N. Abrams, 2001. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0810943336
Descripción Harry N. Abrams, 2001. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería 0810943336
Descripción Harry N Abrams Inc, New York, 2001. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. This is a NEW book in MINT condition, as is the DJ which is now protected with a Mylar covering; price-clipped. Nº de ref. de la librería 100802
Descripción Harry N. Abrams, London, UK, 2001. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. 1st Edition. First edition 2001, first printing, number line starts with 1. Hardcover with DJ. Condition new, square tight and crisp book, no markings of any kind, no names no underlinings no highlights, no bent page corners, Not a reminder. DJ new, bright and shiny, no tears no chips , no edgewear, Price Not clipped. 8vo, 268 pages, illustrated with historic images, index. Nº de ref. de la librería 003574
Descripción Harry N. Abrams, 2001. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería P110810943336
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Descripción Harry N. Abrams, New York, 2001. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. 1st Edition. First edition 2001, first printing, number line starts with 1. Hardcover with DJ. Condition new, square tight and crisp book, no edgewear, no markings of any kind, no names no underlinings no highlights no bent pages, Not a reminder. DJ new, bright and shiny, no tears no chips no edgewear, Price Not clipped. 8vo, 264 pages, illustrated. Nº de ref. de la librería 002353
Descripción Harry N. Abrams. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0810943336 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW6.1351048