Max Morise (Primary Title)

Man Ray, American, 1890 - 1976 (Artist)

Gelatin silver print
Image: 6 15/16 × 5 in. (17.62 × 12.7 cm)

The French actor, translator, and writer Max Morise (1900–1973) was associated with the Surrealist group between 1924 and 1929, although his friendships with André Breton and Robert Desnos predated the founding of the movement. Morise’s main contributions to Surrealism was as a theorist of automatism, including most notably his 1924 essay “Enchanted Eyes,” which argued that automatic drawings accessed the unconscious more directly and successfully than paintings or sculpture. This photograph of Morise was made for the special Surrealism issue of the Belgian magazine Variétés of June 1929. Later that year, Morise was expelled from the Surrealist group, and he subsequently pursued a career as a film actor and translator of American fiction, especially John Steinbeck’s novels. This portrait was owned by André Breton until his death in 1963, which is remarkable considering that Morise’s rupture with the Surrealist group was caused by his affair with Breton’s wife, Simone.

Calmels Cohen Auction stamp (only visible under UV light): [encircled] "Calmels Cohen/ André Breton".
Inscribed possibly by photographer in graphite on print verso: "Max Morise [underlined]/ Assembler avec la photo/ de Paul Nougé". Inscribed in an unidentified hand in graphite on print verso (slightly on top of previous inscriptions): "Sur une 1/2 [illegible] 1/2 page". Inscribed in an unidentified hand in blue graphite on print verso: "B/ "17433/7434" and "9" [with reduction notations underneath the 9]. Inscribed in an unidentified hand in graphite on print verso: "9 cm base".
Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Endowment
Man Ray: The Paris Years, VMFA, October 30, 2021 – February 21, 2022

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