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Life Saver

American Art

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Life Saver

Artwork Details


Man Ray
American, 1890–1976




Cork, wood, metal, rubber, and candy

Accession #



15 x 9 x 3 1/2 inches


On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 3, Gallery 301


Life Saver is the quintessential Surrealist object by artist Man Ray, who furthered Marcel Duchamp’s concept of the readymade by infusing his found objects with psychological potential. With its two upright forms, central body, and candy “eye,” Life Saver suggests a hybrid human form standing like a totemic sentinel over the dream world. Man Ray’s experimental work in photography—including solarizations, double exposures, and photograms (or “rayographs”)—was also highly influential among the Surrealists.


Purchase with Fay and Barrett Howell Fund

Image Copyright

(c) 2019 Man Ray Trust/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris