1974 edition (based on 1921 original) cast iron with copper nails 6.5 l. x 4 w. x 4 h. inches (16.51 x 10.16 x 10.16 cm) edition of 5000 signed and numbered placard of authenticity included printed number and edition information on iron handle original custom packaging
Please note that edition numbers shown are examples only.
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Arguably one of the most influential artists of the Dada and Surrealist movements was Man Ray (American, 1890 - 1976). Surrealism first emerged in the early 1920s in a world still recovering from the effects of the first World War. While similar to its predecessor, the Dada movement, it aimed to answer life's questions through the power of dreams, imagination, and the unconscious. Artists aimed to find beauty and intrigue in the unexpected and Ray's readymades set the standard. The purpose of his readymades were never to destroy the original objects, rather to modify, subvert or elevate to give new meaning and understanding. <br><br> For his iconic 1921 readymade, Cadeau(translated "gift"), Man Ray utilized benign household items, such as a continental flat iron and 14 nails, to create a new, unique object that walks the line between familiar and sadistic while emphasizing Ray's double-edged humor. The piece was originally conceived on the day of the opening of his first solo exhibition in Paris at Phillippe Soupault's Galerie Six on December 3, 1921. Ray was having a drink with the composer Erik Satie and on leaving the café saw a hardware store. With Satie’s help, he bought the iron, some glue and some nails, and went to the gallery where he made the object on the spot. He intended his friends to draw lots for the work, called Cadeau, but the piece was stolen during the course of the afternoon. Ray later authorized two limited editions: a series of eleven collector's pieces published by the Galleria Il Fauno, Turin (1972),and then a larger scale edition of 5000 replicas in 1974 produced and packaged by Luciano Anselmino. Our examples are from the later 1974 edition and are in perfect condition.