The studio on rue Férou (6thDistrict) in Paris was also the home that Man Ray (1890-1976) shared with his wife Juliet for twenty-five years. The couple lived and worked there in the converted garage from 1951 to 1976, until the artist’s death.Juliet preserved the studio as homage to her late husband. Only select people were allowed into the studio on rue Férou, which was keptunder three locks.In the series of photographs, takenin 1983 and 1985 San Francisco photographer Ira Nowinski captured the complex web of work, art, and life created by Man Ray and preserved by Juliet. The extreme close-up, the tight frames, the narrowangles, and the lyrical pans of Nowinski’s photographs emphasize themeaningful relationship of art objects, documents, and personalmementos in the studio. In 1989 a flood severely damaged the building.Juliet died in 1991, and in 1995 the studio’s contents were auctioned atSotheby’s in London. The project is a unique document of Man Ray’sstudio, which was published as a book by Nazraeli Press in 2006 as
TheStudio of Man Ray
and is now exhibited for the first time. Alla EfimovaChief Curator
My first visit to the studio in 1983 set the stage for subsequent visits. Upon entering, I picked up an ashtray containing two cigarette butts. Juliet politely told me to put it down exactly where I had found it. I was then informed that these cigarette butts were from the last visit to the studio by Marcel Duchamp. Then I knew where I was, or where I could be. Man’s presence was everywhere—looking over my shoulder, behind a mirror—and everytime I returned I found that some of the objects had mysteriously re-arrangedthemselves, creating new possibilities and new layers to be discovered.
Ira Nowinski An excerpt from
The Studio of Man Ray
(Nazraeli Press, 2006).
Studio Man Ray
has been made possible through a grant from The Reva and David LoganFoundation, along with generous support and loans from Michael Dawson Gallery, PaigeGallery, and Connie and Stephen Wirtz.
STUDIO MAN RAY
Photographs by Ira Nowinski