Man RayCadeau 1921, editioned replica 1972

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Artwork details

Artist
Man Ray (1890‑1976)
Title
Cadeau
Date 1921, editioned replica 1972
MediumIron and nails
Dimensionsobject: 178 x 94 x 126 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by the Tate Collectors Forum 2002
Reference
T07883

Summary

Cadeau, 1921, editioned replica 1972, or ‘Gift’, is one of the famous icons of the surrealist movement. It consists of an everyday continental flat iron of the sort that had to be heated on a stove, transformed here into a non-functional, disturbing object by the addition of a single row of fourteen nails. The transformation of an item of ordinary domestic life into a strange, unnameable object with sadistic connotations exemplified the power of the object within dada and surrealism to escape the rule of logic and the conventional identification of words and objects. Man Ray once said, ‘There are objects that need names.

In his autobiography Man Ray recounted the story of the making of the original Cadeau… (read more)

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