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Man Ray

Landscape (Paysage Fauve)
1913
watercolor
13 7/8 x 9 11/16 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Man Ray Trust

Landscape (Paysage Fauve) marks an important stage in Man Ray's rapid development as a leading modernist artist. The dark outlines and simplified forms reflect his decision to abandon the direct observation of nature in favor of a more spontaneous, imaginative rendition. He transforms the traditional landscape elements of land, horizon, and sky into a brilliant, jewel-like composition of curvilinear forms that bear little resemblance to an actual place but instead convey the exquisite landscape’s startling beauty.