The Jewish Museum's 2009 exhibit "Alias Man Ray: The Art of Reinvention" brought together an unprecedentedly broad spectrum of output by Marcel Duchamp's friend, co-conspirator and occasional portraitist, Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitzky). It also contextualized 20th century avant-garde production in relation to the Jewish immigrant experience. The exhibit's different sections catalogued the nomadic wanderings of the man who, much to his chagrin, would become known as the preeminent photographer of Surrealism. It followed his Dada stint in New York as a close ally of Marcel Duchamp in aesthetic rebellion, his move to Paris, and then his flight to Hollywood on the eve of the Fascist takeover. Throughout it demonstrated how Man Ray's profound struggle with the stain of his Jewishness was inextricable from his tactics of erasure, doubling, concealment, cryptography, and other seminal contributions he made to the development of the avant garde and to the postmodern world.
Now "Alias Man Ray" has been selected to win the International Association of Art Critics prize for Best Monographic Museum Exhibition. Mason Klein, the curator who designed and executed the exhibition, will be honored in an award ceremony at Cooper Union on March 14th. Other winning institutions, receiving awards across 12 categories, will include the Neue Galerie, The Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago.