Two hundred objects made by or belonging to Man Ray go on sale at Christie’s Paris on March 2, for a total estimate of $3.5 million. The prize among the offerings, which range from lithographs and photographs to books and manuscripts, is the 20th-century artist’s Alphabet pour Adultes. Comprising original drawings and “rayographs”—products of a camera-less photography technique Man Ray discovered by accident in 1922—it’s an A to Z of the Surrealist avant-garde, illustrated by a leader of the pack.
The pieces hail from the collection of Lucien Treillard, who died in 2013, and his widow, Edmonde. Treillard was to Man Ray what Fred Hughes was to Warhol. Starting in 1960, when the two met through the publisher Georges Visat, Treillard was tasked with promoting the artist’s work, which he did until Man Ray’s death, in 1976. He was the last in an illustrious series of assistants, including Berenice Abbott, Jacques-André Boiffard, Bill Brandt, and Lee Miller.