La Photographie N’est Pas L’art.
Photographs by Man Ray.
Fotohof Editions, 2009. 64 pp., 12 black & white illustrations, 6½x9¾".
Photography is not art, proclaims Man Ray in the essay re-published here as an
impeccable facsimile edition of the 1937 original. A pamphlet of loose sheets
and 12 images, this publication re-visits an issue that was hotly controversial
during the first half of the 20th century – Is Photography Art? – as examined in
the influential Paris magazine L’Art. Despite the fact that Man Ray’s provocative
works were among the photographs generally agreed by critics to be, in fact,
art, Man Ray himself seems barely interested in considering the question.
“There’s no point trying to find out if it’s an art,” he said. “Art is a thing of
the past. We need something else. You’ve got to watch light at work. It’s light
that creates. I sit down in front of my sheet of photographic paper and I think.”
Read John Mathews's review of La Photographie N'est Pas L'art in photo-eye Magazine.