Man Ray

Man Ray

American, 1890–1976
Legend
1916, oil on canvas, 132.1 x 91.4 cm (52 x 36 in.)

In the years leading up to his departure for Paris in 1921, Man Ray was an active participant in the New York salon of Walter and Louise Arensberg and, along with Marcel Duchamp, a founding member of the Societé Anonyme and a key figure in the development of New York Dada. In Legend, Man Ray experiments with illusions of depth and flatness. He suggests the broad patches of color are like the sections of an umbrella, “where one takes off the tip and…turns it around on its curve,” rendering three dimensions as two. Man Ray further emphasizes the flat picture plane through the playful inclusion of the title plaque—or legend—at the bottom.