ダダイスム、シュルレアリスム + マン・レイ @ クリスティーズ Dada, Surrealism + Man Ray @ Christie's
Tomorrow, on March 2, a fascinating, mesmerising auction is occurring at Christie’s Paris. Amazing documents on modern history and the playful aspects of Dadaism, Surrealism and Photography can be purchased. A once-in-a-lifetime chance. The works come from the estate of the artist’s last assistant, Lucien Treillard, who died in 2003. The 188 works headed to auction range from Man Ray’s portraits of socialites, muses, and modern artists to readymades by his friend Marcel Duchamp. Offered for sale by Treillard’s widow Edmonde, the group of works is expected to fetch a collected €3 million ($3.6 million).
Treillard’s personal collection provides a look at the range of Man Ray’s output, and the forthcoming Christie’s sale is the largest one devoted to the artist since 2014, when Sotheby’s auctioned off 400 lots from the Man Ray Trust, netting $3.7 million. Treillard met Man Ray through Georges Visât, a lithographer and art editor. Hired in 1960 to work alongside the expatriate American artist, who spent most of his career in France, Treillard led a decade-plus working relationship with Man Ray that lasted until the artist’s death in 1976. Treillard often helped source materials for Man Ray’s ready-mades, and even organized exhibitions devoted to him. Now, he is known for his role in promoting the artist’s legacy, facilitating reprints, liaising exhibition loans, and helping place artworks with archives.
Marcel Fleiss of the 1900-2000 gallery in Paris, who was particularly close to Man Ray and later Lucien Treillard, states: “Lucien Treillard had the complete confidence of Man Ray and for my first Man Ray exhibition in February 1972 it was Lucien Treillard who took care of everything.”
Many of the works in the Christie’s sale were held by Treillard for decades. (They have been authenticated by the Man Ray Committee, according to Christie’s representatives.) The leading lot is a Duchamp “Boîte-en-Valise” work, which contains 68 reproductions of the Dadaist’s works. Conceived in 1940 and executed in 1963, it is expected to fetch €200,000–€300,000. “It shows the collaboration between the two artists,” said Elodie Morel, head of Christie’s photography department in Paris.
Man Ray’s photographic work is also represented in the sale. In addition to a book containing the artist’s “rayographs,” which were made by exposing photo paper to light, there will be contact prints featuring image of members of Man Ray’s circle, including Dora Maar, Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst and Jean Cocteau.
One portrait, carrying an estimate of €6,000-€8,000 ($7280-$9,707), depicts American photojournalist and model Lee Miller. A recurring subject in many of Man Ray’s top works, Miller was also central in developing the solarization technique, which produces the halo-like effect that Man Ray often applied to his portraits of women. Another portrait of a prominent muse, depicting artist Méret Oppenheim from Man Ray’s 1933 series “Erotique Voilée,” shows the model standing nude behind a printing press wheel, with his her left arm covered with ink and held to her forehead. It is valued at a price of €50,000 ($65,000).
Elder Japanese readers will remember Man Ray’s exhibition in The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama (26 January – 24 February 1985), which partly consisted of this Treillard’s personal collection. ZEIT-FOTO SALON in Tokyo was crucial to establish a collector’s base of Man Ray’s works. One time, when I was sitting together with gallery owner ISHIHARA Etsuro, he angrily talked about Man Ray in the context of provenience and his vintage and modern prints. I may hereby politely keep the contents secret.
Let’s enjoy the prints, the collaborations with Marcel Duchamp, the father of Conceptualism, among others. Last but not least, may I tell you that most Japanese collectors and dealers don’t understand the value of artistic photography prints. Neither the art historical context. In retrospective, a “good” thing for me. I could buy them (not the Man Ray ones) cheaply without the competition of the local collectors and art dealers. Sometime, in the future, I’ll write more about it.
The attached prints and works of Man Ray are a tiny section of the auction sale. I recommend you to download the pdf-catalogue. It’s really a fascinating journey into modern art history.
In case you wonder about what happens to the artist’s life and its legacy, the following episode is symptomatic for us. And I know many colleagues here in Japan, who think the same: Art dealer Heinz Berggruen: “When May Ray died in Paris, in 1976, there were scarcely more than eight or nine of us accompanying him to his final resting place at the Montparnasse Cemetery.”
Enjoy your life while being alive. Most of us will be forgotten anyway, – and only our works will be left. People not yet born, yes it’s true!, will decide about your legacy. Not you, dear reader.
Tokyo, 2021 March 1st
2 March 02:00 PM CET | Live auction 19833
Man Ray et les surréalistes. Collection Lucien et Edmonde Treillard
See the living room with art works, collected by Gertrude Stein
Picasso and Art Dealer Nahmad’s Collection
Regarding Marcel Duchamp, learn more via:
素晴らしい新日本フェミニズム美学と解放：画家 牧田恵実 （＋マルセル・デュシャン）
Excellent New Japanese Feminism Aesthetics and Emancipation: Painter MAKIDA Emi (+ Marcel Duchamp)
SHIOTA Chiharu: Mysterious Nest-specific Correlations Between Loneliness and Lifelines (repost from the archive, 2013/2/3)
up-date 2021/3/4 via artnet + artnews
“The Man Ray Trust raised serious concerns to Christie’s about the provenance and rightful ownership of the overwhelming majority of the works offered for auction,” according to the trust’s statement. The works came from the collection of Lucien Treillard, Man Ray’s longtime assistant and collaborator, and his wife, Edmonde.
Representatives for the trust alleged that the family did not “have clear title to most of the works offered in this auction. Of the 188 lots offered at auction, the Man Ray Trust is questioning the ownership of 148.”
“The timing of the auction 30 years and 33 days after Juliet Man Ray’s death raises suspicion due to the 30-year statute of limitations for raising issues of title under French law,” the trust added.
Asked about the allegations, a Christie’s representative told Artnet News that the auction house gave “very careful consideration to the concerns raised by the Man Ray Trust and are disappointed by their press release, which questions our due diligence actions.”
Christie’s said it conducted an extensive investigation into the collection and consulted with recognized Man Ray authenticity experts, including the French curator Emmanuelle de L’Ecotais. Christie’s also said that with few exceptions, all the works in the sale had been publicly exhibited and published.
“Nothing has been provided to us by the trust that would give grounds to challenge the legality of the sale,” the auction house said.
A representative for the trust said the organization made a “last-ditch attempt to settle the issue by agreeing to joint ownership, as has been the precedent in similar disputes in the past. Unfortunately the parties were very far apart, so this lead to release of public notice detailing our claims.”
The Man Ray Trust has claimed that Treillard took advantage of access to Man Ray’s studio after his death. Treillard admitted in the past to having falsely authenticated Man Ray works.
When it comes to the current sale, Richard Hamlin, a Man Ray Trust board member, who is married to Stephanie Browner, an heir to the Man Ray estate, claimed that the majority of works coming to auction should belong to the heirs of Juliet Man Ray, the artist’s late wife. “We had no idea [about] the extent of this theft,” he told ARTnews, explaining that record-keeping around the posthumous estate was not always as detailed as it could have been.
While the Trust has long been aware of Treillard’s practice of continuing to reproduce material he acquired from Man Ray’s studio under unclear circumstances, it has never pursued legal recourse against the former assistant. Hamlin said that due to limited financial resources, the Trust has historically remained “litigation adverse.” For years, the original trustees of the estate believed the works would be gifted to the Centre Pompidou in Paris, where a vast archive of Man Rays work resides.
According to Hamlin, representatives of the Man Ray Trust and its legal counsel approached Christie’s and asked the house to submit deeds of sale and various forms that would authenticate the works coming to auction. Hamlin alleged that Christie’s did not supply such documents. (A Christie’s representative confirmed that the house’s counsel consulted with the Trust’s attorney, but declined to comment on the specifics, citing a confidentiality agreement.) In an interview prior to the sale, the head of Christie’s photographs department in Paris, Elodie Morel, said that a committee devoted to Man Ray’s art authenticated the works.