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RAY, Man.


Dix rayogrammes de Man Ray et un texte de Pierre Bost.

Paris: La Compagnie Parisienne de Distribution d'Électricité, 1931 Stock Code: 145648
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Rayographs as advertising

First edition, first printing. No. 147 of an edition of 500. Each rayograph signed in the negative by Ray. The technique of creating photographic prints without using a camera (photograms) was not new, but Man Ray personalized the technique to such an extent that his pieces became known as rayographs. The poet Tristan Tzara proclaimed them "dada" and wrote that the photographer "had invented the force of tender and fresh lightning." Électricité is among the most acclaimed works made by this method.

Man Ray produced the book as a commission for La Compagnie Parisienne de Distribution d'Électricité (CPDE), a private power company wishing to promote domestic consumption of electricity, at a time when most French homes used natural gas, wood, or coal for fuel. Man Ray used electric light to cast the images of various electrical appliances onto photographic paper. He added shadows of power cords and heating coils and incorporated a number of his own photographic nudes and other found images. The edition of 500 copies was published for distribution to executives and top customers of CPDE.

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Folio. Booklet and 10 rayographs tipped onto paper mounts as issued with titles printed on the protective glassine guards, all housed in a cardboard folding case, with a glassine cover. Housed in a black cloth flat-back box by the Chelsea Bindery.


10 photogravures after rayographs. Sheet sizes: 37.5 x 27.6 cm.


Covers lightly rubbed and toned to edges, glassine cover chipped and torn with some loss, front flap loose, all contents in excellent condition.


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