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Christie's to offer the Collection of Lucien and Edmonde Treillard
Man Ray Marcel Duchamp et glissière contenant un moulin à eau en metaux voisins, 1917. Silver print, made about 1950. Estimate: €8,000-€10,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2021.

PARIS.- Christie's presents Man Ray and the Surrealists, Collection Lucien and Edmonde Treillard on March 2, 2021 at 2pm. This exceptional sale, consisting of 203 lots for a total estimate of nearly €3 million, will highlight the world of Man Ray through the unique collection of the man who worked alongside him until the end of his life: Lucien Treillard.

In 1960, Lucien Treillard became Man Ray's assistant, following in the footsteps of illustrious predecessors such as Berenice Abbott, Jacques-André Boiffard, Bill Brandt and Lee Miller. His role, central to the artist's career, was above all to promote Man Ray's work. Alongside Juliet, the artist's companion, Lucien Treillard continued his efforts to promote Man Ray's art even after the artist's death.

His mission also led him to organise Man Ray's first monographic exhibitions such as the one at the Photokina in Cologne, Germany, and the one at the National Library in 1962. This sale at Christie's, composed of objects, assemblages, photographs and lithographs from his collection, offers a complete and unique panorama of Man Ray's creations.

A group of 97 photographs will be presented in this sale. These delightful works, most of which are contact prints, illustrate the diversity of Man Ray's practice. Images of iconic personalities such as Lee Miller, Marcel Duchamp, Jean Cocteau (estimate: €10,000-15,000) or Dora Maar are displayed alongside portraits of many artists such as Dalì and Gala (estimate: €5,000-7,000), Pablo Picasso (estimate: €8,000-10,000) or Max Ernst.

Themes important to the artist will be represented, like his Objets Mathématiques, the mannequins of the Exposition Internationale from 1938 or prints from the film L'Étoile de mer (1928) and the series Érotique voilée (estimate: €50,000- 70,000).

Light will also be shed on the diversity of techniques used by the artist. The rayogram, discovered by accident by Man Ray in 1922, is obtained by placing objects on a photosensitive surface and then exposing it directly to light, without a camera. This process, which fascinates and inspires the surrealist avant-garde, will be illustrated in the Alphabet pour Adultes (estimate: €80,000-100,000). This model, consisting of 12 rayograms and 13 original drawings each representing a letter of the alphabet, will be one of the highlights of this sale. Similarly, Les doigts d'amour de Main Ray, 1951 (estimate: €50,000-70,000) is a unique rayogram honouring the technique that bears his name. The Primate of Matter over Thought, 1931 is the result of a solarisation process and will be one of the much-awaited lots in this sale.

A set of objects and assemblages, underlining the humour and mythical character of Man Ray's work, will also be offered at this sale. These objects, which Man Ray referred to as "the objects of my affection", illustrate the treasures of creativity that the artist uses in the conception of his universe. According to his doctrine, "everything is possible from nothing". Thus, the 1971 version of Object to be destroyed – Perpetual Motif is no exception to the rule and features a metronome whose pendulum is adorned with a photograph of Lee Miller's eye, printed on optical paper (estimate: €25,000-35,000). Similarly, between fantasy and simplicity, the essay by Mr Knife and Miss Fork consists of a silver-plated metal knife and fork with wooden beads and a braided cotton net mounted on a wooden panel (estimate: €10,000-15,000).

Exceptional works also stand out from this selection. Among them, A quoi rêvent les jeunes (What Young People Dream About) from 1935 (estimate: €50,000-70,000) - simple painted glass plates mounted on a wooden frame; or one of the seven copies of La Poire d'Erik Satie (estimate: €20,000-30,000), published in 1973, which is part of this continuity. In 1973, Sarane Alexandrian aptly wrote about these objects and assemblages: "So many remarkable creations (...) born to correct morals while decorating pragmatic reasoning or flouting arrogant pretensions. »

The Lucien and Edmonde Treillard collection will also offer a section dedicated to books and manuscripts. This selection will include one of the very first books illustrated by Man Ray, A Book of Divers Writings by Adon Lacroix. Designed and published by Man Ray, (estimate: €80,000-120,000) printed by Man Ray himself in January 1915 and composed of poems by his first wife Adon Lacroix. Of legendary rarity, it was printed in very few copies - perhaps twenty. It is signed by Man Ray and dedicated by Lacroix to her first husband, the sculptor Adolf Wolff. Only three other copies are currently listed and all belong to institutions: the Schwartz copy in the Israel Museum, Man Ray's personal copy in the Georges Pompidou Centre, and finally the Arensberg copy in the Philadelphia Museum. The sale also features Man Ray's archives, his draft articles and amusing and friendly postcards addressed to Man Ray by Picasso, Duchamp, Ernst, Eluard, Miro, Breton, and many others (estimate: €1,500-2000).

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