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Title:With "homage and outrage": Man Ray and the dangerous woman
Author(s):Schrock, Peggy Elaine
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Fineberg, Jonathan
Department / Program:Art History
Discipline:Art History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Art History
Psychology, Social
Women's Studies
Abstract:One of the most striking aspects of Man Ray's oeuvre is the artist's fascination with the unmediated female presence and his need to manipulate and control its image. To him, male and female interaction meant conflict and confrontation, and he often used game metaphors and Sadian imagery to express this world view. Because of early traumatic episodes, with both his mother and his peers, Man Ray developed a deficient self-image and a narcissistic personality. He believed that his mother had denied him his artistic and sexual freedom, and he sought retribution from the other women in his life. They were surrogates of his mother from whom, in turn, he could wrest creative initiative. Many of his major works (Coat Rack, Le Cadeau, L'Objet a detruire, A l'heure de l'observatoire--Les Amoureux and others) are explicit or implicit expressions of either the terrifying female (as vagina dentata) or the ideal female (bound in some way).
His violent and aggressive images of women were readily accepted by his surrealist colleagues because of the early twentieth-century revival in Paris of the aesthetic of the sublime--now reconfigured on the model of Freudian psychoanalysis. In this atmosphere he could openly express his fear of the dangerous woman in imagery which crossed media boundaries and, following the surrealist code, deny all moral responsibility.
Issue Date:1992
Rights Information:Copyright 1992 Schrock, Peggy Elaine
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9236588
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9236588

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