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The French avant-garde composer and pianist Erik Satie (1866–1925) met Man Ray on December 3, 1921, at the opening of the American artist’s one-person exhibition at La Librarie Six in Paris. Man Ray was delighted to discover, over hot drinks in a local corner café, that the eccentric, witty, and irreverent Satie was a radical iconoclast who, along with younger composers like Francis Poulenc and Germaine Tailleferre, stood at the forefront of recent developments in modern music. Together, Man Ray and Satie fabricated Cadeau (Gift), an ordinary flatiron with a row of tacks glued to the underside. The work became Man Ray’s earliest and most provocative Dada object after it went on display in the Librairie Six exhibition, only to be stolen on the first day. Man Ray later re-created Cadeau on numerous occasions, and it has become an emblematic image of Dada’s corrosive humor and subversive intent. This portrait was made in Man Ray’s studio the following year and was published in the July 1922 issue of Vanity Fair to illustrate an article by the French composer Georges Auric that situated Satie as the leader of “the new spirit possessing French music.”
Stamp in purple ink on verso: "Photo/ Man Ray/ Paris". (M1 - check Text Entry notes for stamp details)
Vanity Fair stamp (twice) in faded black ink with orange graphite numbers written within one of the stamps: "10062B".
Titled by the photographer in black ink on verso: "Erik Satie".
Reduction notations inscribed in graphite on verso: " ------ 2 1/2 ------".
Inscribed in graphite on verso: "8286-1061/B".
Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Endowment
Man Ray: The Paris Years, VMFA, October 30, 2021 – February 21, 2022
Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.
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