In his new specialty as a photographer Man Ray imagines to position solid or openwork objects directly on the photosensitive surface. 80 years earlier Talbot had a similar practice for photographing the ferns. In such a process each image is unique.
Man Ray identifies his innovation as Rayographs coined on his own artist's name. Surrealists and Dadaists are delighted. The installation of everyday artefacts reminding the ready mades is appealing to the realists and the disturbing composition excites the poets.
A 24 x 18 cm Rayograph was sold on April 4, 2013 for $ 1.2M including premium by Christie's over a lower estimate of $ 250K. Printed in a magazine in the spring of 1922 with a praise by Cocteau, this image had certainly been the very first published Rayograph.
On October 10 in New York, Christie's sells two Rayographs de-accessioned from the Museum of Modern Art.
Lot 103 is estimated $ 200K. This 30 x 24 cm Rayograph made in 1923 invites to an erotic interpretation with two eggs flanking a stem that points into a lace doily. It had belonged to Tzara.
Lot 102 estimated $ 150K is a symmetrical composition that can form a head, a stool or a cloudy sky. It was made in 1928 in a larger size than the two examples discussed above, 39 x 30 cm.