Man RayFigure. Herma. Métal Doré - Herma. Gilded Metal. 1919-1973.

Sculpture cast in metal and finished in polished bronze. c.1970. Signed with the incised signature. Incision numbered from the edition of 350. With the Artcurial foundry mark. Edition issued by Artcurial, Paris 1973. Also sold with the original-issue box.

Note: This sculpture was created by Man Ray using his 1919 painting with the same subject as his source. It has become one of his best-known multiple bronzes.

Bibliography: Marton, Krauss and Hermann - Man Ray: Objets de Mon Affection, a catalogue of Sculptures and Objects see p 165 (another cast illustrated).

Exceptional fresh unmarked condition having been stored in its issue-box. With the original display base. Height: 36cm, including the base.


One of the most inspirational events of Man Ray's early life as an artist was the 1913 New York Armory Show. It was his first real introduction to European avant-garde art and it was also through this exhibition that he became close friends with Marcel Duchamp. At this time Duchamp was investigating ways of creating visual movement within a two dimensional image surface. His famous 1912 painting 'The Bride' used superimposed figure forms in a progression of poses. When Man Ray saw the work it had a very profound impact on his ideas. A few years after the Armory Show his painting 'Figure' (1919) reveals his interpretation of Duchamp's ideas of movement. The multi-angle shapes of this sculpture are a further development of that 1913 Marcel Duchamp influence.

It was many years later, towards the end of his career, that Man Ray became interested in ways that two-dimensional imagery could be melded into a totally different three-dimensional form. Here he returned to the motif of his 1919 'Figure' painting and recalling his discussions with Duchamp he created the multiple elements of Duchamp's super-imposed 'The Bride' figures in this sculpture through the angled forms and reflected light.