A & E

Lee Miller and Man Ray at the Legion of Honor


As American expatriates in Paris, Lee Miller and Man Ray lived together from 1929 to 1932 and popularized several photographic techniques, including solarization. Their mutual inspiration led to some of the most legendary works of their careers.

Miller was a commercial photographer and model and later became a highly regarded war correspondent for Vogue during World War II. While in Paris, she had her own photography studio and took commercial assignments as well as developed her own droll Surrealist style. Respected among the Surrealists, she even appeared in Jean Cocteau’s film Blood of a Poet.

Galvanized by contemporary European art exhibitions such as the famous 1913 Armory Show, Man Ray was inspired to invent Dada objects and to reject conventional artistic subject matter. In his signature medium of photography, his trademark became the black and white dreamlike representations of strangely juxtaposed images such as the metronome with eye, Indestructible Object.

This exhibition is the first to explore Miller and Ray’s artistic and romantic relationship, and significantly puts Miller’s work in a more meaningful context as an equal to her Surrealist compatriots. Miller and Ray’s visions merged into a remarkable synergy that was never to be repeated. That unique moment, and the resulting work, still resonates through the art world.

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