Kiki Man Ray: Art, Love, and Rivalry in 1920s Paris

Kiki Man Ray: Art, Love, and Rivalry in 1920s Paris

by Mark Braude
Kiki Man Ray: Art, Love, and Rivalry in 1920s Paris

Kiki Man Ray: Art, Love, and Rivalry in 1920s Paris

by Mark Braude


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One of The New Yorker’s Best Books of 2022
One of The New York Times' 100 Notable Books of 2022
One of ArtNet's Art Books They Couldn’t Put Down in 2022
One of Harper Bazaar’s Top 100 in 2022

A dazzling portrait of Paris’s forgotten artist and cabaret star, whose incandescent life asks us to see the history of modern art in new ways.

In freewheeling 1920s Paris, Kiki de Montparnasse captivated as a nightclub performer, sold out gallery showings of her paintings, starred in Surrealist films, and shared drinks and ideas with the likes of Jean Cocteau and Marcel Duchamp. Her best-selling memoir—featuring an introduction by Ernest Hemingway—made front-page news in France and was immediately banned in America. All before she turned thirty.

Kiki was once the symbol of bohemian Paris. But if she is remembered today, it is only for posing for several now-celebrated male artists, including Amedeo Modigliani and Alexander Calder, and especially photographer Man Ray. Why has Man Ray’s legacy endured while Kiki has become a footnote?

Kiki and Man Ray met in 1921 during a chance encounter at a café. What followed was an explosive decade-long connection, both professional and romantic, during which the couple grew and experimented as artists, competed for fame, and created many of the shocking images that cemented Man Ray’s reputation as one of the great artists of the modern era. The works they made together, including the Surrealist icons Le Violon d’Ingres and Noire et blanche, now set records at auction.

Charting their volatile relationship, award-winning historian Mark Braude illuminates for the first time Kiki’s seminal influence not only on Man Ray’s art, but on the culture of 1920s Paris and beyond. As provocative and magnetically irresistible as Kiki herself, Kiki Man Ray is the story of an exceptional life that will challenge ideas about artists and muses—and the lines separating the two.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781324006015
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 08/09/2022
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 1,110,439
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Mark Braude is a cultural historian and the author of Kiki Man Ray, The Invisible Emperor, and Making Monte Carlo. He has been a visiting fellow at the American Library in Paris, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford, a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar, and the recipient of a Silvers Grant. He lives in Vancouver with his family.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Jockey, Summer 1925, Evening 1

1 Old Songs Sung from a Marble Tabletop 5

2 A Café Isn't a Church 33

3 See the Disappearing Boy 37

4 Sessions 63

5 Grand Hôtel 67

6 All Tomorrow's Parties 77

7 Waking Dream Séance 90

8 An Italian Heir, a French Novelist, a Japanese Painter, and an American Collector 95

9 A Dada Dust-Up 102

10 A Sailing and Several Stories 107

11 She Will Be the Actor Too 112

12 The Interpretation of Dreams 116

13 Into the Light 121

14 Come Closer 138

15 Going Away 145

16 Kiki with African Mask 157

17 Leave Me Alone 164

18 The Years of Madness 178

19 She Became Restless 183

20 Don't Hesitate! Come to Montparnasse! 193

21 1929 199

22 Queen of the Underground 202

23 The Path of Duty 207

24 When I Get the Blues, I Change Eras 223

25 A Winter and a Spring 245

Epilogue: Memories and Photographs 249

Acknowledgments 257

Notes 259

Index 283

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