Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky). The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself with Her Shadows. 1916

Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky) The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself with Her Shadows 1916

  • MoMA, Floor 5, 508 The David Geffen Wing

Man Ray became dissatisfied with his original composition for this work inspired by a tightrope performance he had seen in a vaudeville show. He had originally arranged pieces of colored paper cut into the shapes of the tightrope dancer’s acrobatic forms. Glancing down at the floor, he noticed that the discarded scraps of paper from which the shapes had been cut formed an abstract pattern resulting from chance. Comparing the accidental pattern with shadows that a dancer might have cast on the floor, he incorporated it into his composition.

Gallery label from 2020
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
52" x 6' 1 3/8" (132.1 x 186.4 cm)
Credit
Gift of G. David Thompson
Object number
33.1954
Copyright
© 2021 Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Department
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

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Provenance Research Project

This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.

1916 - 1939, Man Ray, New York, Paris and Los Angeles.

1939 - 1947, Peggy Guggenheim, Paris, New York and Venice, acquired from Man Ray.

1947 - 1954, State University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, acquired as gift from Peggy Guggenheim.

1954, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, purchased and acquired in exchange from State University of Iowa.

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