Man Ray – Vision and Thought

Man Ray is among the most important artists of the 20th century. As one of the Surrealists in the Paris of the 1920s, he extended the boundaries of what a work of art can be. The exhibition Man Ray – Vision and Thought presented Man Ray’s work in all it’s complexity, including drawings, paintings, collages, films, objects, as well as his iconic photographs.        


Man Ray (1890-1976) is best-known as one of the great photographers of the 20th century and is seen today as being an epoch-making innovator of photography. In actual fact, he started his career as a painter and subsequently flung himself with an inquiring mind into all media that came his way – collage, sculpture, photography and film. Irrespective of whether he was painting, photographing or making sculptures of everyday objects, the most important thing for him was to explore the potential of the medium and to find the best possible way of giving an idea material form. As he himself said: ‘l paint what cannot be photographed, and l photograph what l do not wish to paint.’ Together with such artists as Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí, Man Ray changed art and its context for ever. A number of his works remain today as monuments of the insistence of modern art on the new, the different and the ever-changing. The exhibition painted a balanced picture of an artist who was not just an epoch-making photographer but who also revolutionised the very idea of what a work of art can be.


The exhibition was organised in collaboration with Mjellby Konstmuseum, Sweden. In Denmark, the exhibition was part of a joint venture with Gl. Holtegaard. While Øregaard presented Man Ray’s work in all it’s complexity, Gl. Holtegaard displayed Man Ray’s work as a photographer, including his lesser known career as a fashion photographer. The exhibitions complemented each other, and could be seen independently or as an extension of each other.