Born Emmanuel Radnitzky, Man Ray adopted his pseudonym in 1909 and would become one of the key figures of Dada
. One of the few American artists associated with these movements, Ray was exposed to European avant-garde artists like Pablo Picasso
and Georges Braque
at Alfred Stieglitz
’s New York gallery and at the 1913 Armory Show. Ray’s photographic works are considered his most profound achievement, particularly his portraits, fashion photographs, and technical experiments with the medium, such as solarization and rayographs (an eponym for his photograms
), which were celebrated by the Surrealists. “I do not photograph nature,” he once said. “I photograph my visions.” In 1915 he was introduced to Marcel Duchamp
, who would become a lifelong friend and influence; he subsequently moved to Paris, practicing there for over 20 years.