Man Ray is the quintessential modernist figureâ€”painter, sculptor, objectmaker, and collagist; photographer, printmaker, and filmmaker; poet, essayist, and philosopher. One of the most important and enigmatic of the Surrealists who transformed the Paris art world during the ferment of the 1920s and beyond. Man Ray was a bundle of contradictionsâ€”a Dadaist who revered the Old Masters, an anarchist coddled by wealthy patrons, an obsessive documenter of his own works who was relentlessly determined to erase his personal history. Born Emmanuel Radnitsky, son of a Philadelphia garment worker and his strict, sharp-tongued wife, he grew up in Brooklyn, fled to Paris, and eluded ties with his family. Under the influence of his close friend Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray began creating works such as The Gift, a flatiron adorned with carpet tacks, and his mysterious rayographs of common and uncommon objects. His stormy love affairs were with some of the most fascinating women of his dayâ€”the poet Adon Lacroix, his first wife; the exotic chanteuse Kiki of Montparnasse; the photographer and actress Lee Miller. In the meantime, Man Ray came to know and photograph virtually every important figure in the arts on both sides of the Atlanticâ€”personalities such as James Joyce, Coco Chanel, Gertrude Stein, Jean Cocteau, and Max Ernst. Driven to make his mark in as many art forms as possible, Man Ray bitterly struggled to win acceptance as a painter even as his skill as a photographer brought him worldwide acclaim. Man Ray: American Artist, enriched by previously unpublished material and the close cooperation of Juliet Man Ray, the artistâ€™s widow, should stand for years to come as the definitive story of the life and times of one of the greatest of modern artists.