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Among Man Ray’s first important accomplishments in the fashion field, it is necessary to highlight that which promoted his success and his international reputation: in July, 1925, the Pavillion of Elegance is inaugurated at the International Decorative Art Exhibition. This exhibition was organized by Lucien Vogel, who had asked André Vigneau, connected to the Maison Siegel, to create wood and wax mannequins, “depicting, in each of her preferred positions, the modern woman. Colored in gold, in silver, in Egyptian red, in gray, pink beige, violet, or pink, according to the fashion’s designer whim, these mannequins were enthusiastically accepted by all the great fashion names for the presentation of their models” (French edition of Vogue, August 1st, 1925). Sent by Vogue to the event, Man Ray shows “the familiar pose of the Parisian woman, seated with crossed legs [...], faithfully repeated by this mannequin dressed in an ocean green Georgette crepe outfit”. These images were published by the three Vogue editions (the French, the Bristish, and the American), as well as on the cover of La Révolution Surréaliste, on July, 15th, 1925. It was exactly the trompe-l’œil of a mannequin identically reproducing the familiar gestures of a woman which pleased the Surrealists. Like the corsets in the shop windows pictured by Eugène Atget, Man Ray photographs here “The Uncanny” of a mannequin to the point of being mistaken for a woman.

Details

  • Title: The Pavillion of Elegance
  • Creator: Man Ray
  • Date: 1925
  • Location: France
  • Physical Dimensions: 30 x 24
  • Rights: © Man Ray 2015 Trust
  • Medium: Gelatin-silver print from the 1980’s

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