Man Ray (American, 1890 - 1976))

1919. Oil on canvas, 28 x 22". 1931.253

As co-founder in 1917 of the New York Dada group, Man Ray was committed to transgressing the traditional limitations of subjects, styles, and media in art. In his work, he challenged the very idea of a painting by abandoning the use of easel, brushes, and other traditional materials. Instead, he created works such as Jazz, which he called an “aerograph,” by using an airbrush and stencils and by varying the flow and density of the paint. The result is an elegant visual metaphor for jazz in which the modulated colors and swelling shapes evoke the pitch, loudness, color, and duration of sounds emitted by different instruments in elegant combination.

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