Man Ray (1890-1976), Résurrection des mannequins (Paris: Jean Petithory, 1966). 15 gelatin silver photographs. Graphic Arts (GAX) 2008- in process
In 1938, the writer André Breton (1896-1966) and poet Paul Éluard (1895-1952) organized the Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme at the Galerie Beaux-Arts in Paris. Each of fifteen artists were given a dressmaker’s mannequin as their canvas and encouraged to transform the figure in any way they desired. The artists included Salvador Dalí, Óscar Dominguez, Marcel Duchamp, Leo Malet, André Masson, Joan Miró, Wolfgang Paalen, Kurt Seligmann, Yves Tanguy, Marcel Jean, Max Ernst, Espinoza, Maurice Henry, Sonia Mosse, and Man Ray.
Man Ray organized the lighting and photographed the show. Twenty-eight years later, he printed and published a limited edition of these photographs, along with a descriptive text, under the title Résurrection des mannequins. Man Ray designed the binding and pursuaded the great surrealist printer Guy Lévis Mano to design and print the pages.
Princeton’s copy is inscribed by Man Ray to his friend William Copley (1919-1996). In 1947, Copley opened a Los Angeles gallery dedicated to the Surrealists and to Man Ray’s work in particular. When nothing sold, he closed the gallery, purchasing much of the art for his own private collection. In 1979, Copley sold this collection for $6.7 million, at the time the highest auction sale of a single owner’s collection in the United States.