Object Details




Man Ray (American, 1890 - 1976)






Gelatin silver print


9.3 x 12 cm (3 11/16 x 4 3/4 in.)


© Man Ray Trust ARS-ADAGP

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One of Man Ray's guiding principles was "to do the things that one is not supposed to do," and here it seems he has used the camera to make a picture of something intangible, an emotion. Man Ray explored photography's potential in the realm of abstraction, photographing a cloud of smoke gathering around a found-object sculpture in his New York studio. By manipulating his camera, he blurred the subject beyond recognition and created a sense of velocity and disequilibrium. The enigmatic title denies the existence of a recognizable subject in the photograph. Unknown to the viewer is the fact that Anxiety (L'Inquietude)is the name of the sculpture in the photograph, making this a craftily anti-documentary document of the three-dimensional piece.

Rare States and Unusual Subjects: Photographs by Paul Strand, Andre Kertesz, and Man Ray (July 7 to September 6, 1987)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), July 7 to September 6, 1987
Perpetual Motif: The Art of Man Ray (December 2, 1988 to January 7, 1990)
  • National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution (Washington), December 2, 1988 to February 20, 1989
  • Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), March 19 to May 28, 1989
  • The Menil Collection (Houston), June 30 to September 17, 1989
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia), October 14, 1989 to January 7, 1990
A Practical Dreamer: The Photographs of Man Ray (October 27, 1998 to October 8, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 27, 1998 to January 17, 1999
  • Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), April 2 to June 25, 2000
  • Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), July 13 to October 8, 2000
DADA (October 5, 2005 to September 11, 2006) (335)
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), February 19 to May 14, 2006
  • The Museum of Modern Art (New York), June 18 to September 11, 2006

Schwarz, Arturo. Man Ray: The Rigour of Imagination (New York: Rizzoli, 1977), pl. 350.

Ray, Man. Man Ray: Photographe, mit einer Einleitung von Jean-Hubert Martin (München: Schirmer/Mosel, 1982), p. 151 (actual sculpture).