Kicken Berlin opens the 2013 exhibition season with a presentation of works by Man Ray and Christer Strömholm. 1920s avant-garde in cameraless photography, Rayographs and object art in mixed media: these are the key elements of Man Ray’s photographic oeuvre. Man Ray actively participated in and critically shaped the twentieth century’s most important artistic movements, including Dada and Surrealism. In New York in the 1910s Man Ray focused on painting, collages, and sculpture; he was also versed in the medium of photography and its creative potential early on. Photography began to play a more crucial role in his work in Paris in 1921. Commissions such as artist documentations and fashion and portrait projects simultaneously provided lucrative business opportunities and room for experimentation. At the same time, his experiments in cameraless photography came to fruition: the Rayograph. Together with Christian Schad and László Moholy-Nagy, Man Ray was one of the 1920s pioneers of the art of the photogram, which opened new perspectives in the traces of light left by everyday objects. In the context of photography, Man Ray’s photograms represent an attempt to explore “reveres beyond the empirical world.” Klaus Honnef summarizes: “His photographic images capture the precarious moment in which the substance of the thing transitions into an apparition of itself; they transmit the lingering sense of physicality and are in fact ephemeral figures of light and fixed shadows.” In addition to the masterly alienated portraits of his muses and models like Kiki de Montparnasse, Lee Miller and Meret Oppenheim, the Rayographs were some of Man Ray’s most popular work. A selection of these images were reprinted in the early 1960s. The things of daily life afforded Man Ray manifold impetus to artistic transformation, indeed metamorphosis. The example set by Marcel Duchamp and his readymades prompted Man Ray to create surprising and new combinations of objects of the most diverse uses. One of the most well known examples is the piece ‘Cadeau‘ from 1921, which reveals an iron with a jagged edge of teeth. In many cases Man Ray returned to a works’ earlier idea in a later edition, as in the case of ‘Cadeau‘, present here in 12 copies from 1974. The photograms attest to Man Ray’s tireless enthusiasm for experimentation and transformation, a curiosity that prompted other experimental techniques such as solarization, as in ‘Calla Lilies‘ from 1930, and collages, such as ‘White the black and white room‘ (1954). Man Ray periodically reorganized his works, for example in photographs. In 1944 he planned a publication of his favorite works – ‘Objects of My Affection‘ – which where summarized in an annotated list. Among these favorite objects was ‘White the black and white room‘ from 1954, a collage of photomontage and cutouts, which he photographed for the project.