The Primacy of Matter Over Thought

The Primacy of Matter Over Thought (1929 Photo by Man Ray)

From the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: “Man Ray was a modernist photographer whose works are characterized by an inventive exploration of new techniques and visual effects. Born in Philadelphia and trained as a painter, he arrived in Paris in 1921 and became a member of the Surrealist circle of artists there. He took up fashion and portrait photography as a way to make a living and began to experiment with a variety of processes, including solarization-a partial reversal of tone within a print, most visible at the edges of forms, caused by momentary exposure to light during the course of normal darkroom development. Solarization was an ideal technique to capture this mysterious and hallucinatory image of the Surrealist painter and sculptor Méret Oppenheim; the glowing dark aura surrounding her head transforms her into a disembodied, dreamlike figure.”

Jaime in Vancouver, BC sent me this card back in 2011; she had just been to the art gallery. “They were showing paintings from the Surrealist movement,” she writes. “I couldn’t wait to hit the gift store at the end to check out the postcards.” And I’m immensely pleased to be the recipient of one of them.

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