First publication dedicated to Jamaican-born American photographer Percy Rainford, a longtime collaborator of both Marcel Duchamp and architect Frederick Kiesler. Drawing from extensive archival research and interviews, author Michael R. Taylor showcases the work of this remarkable avant-garde photographer, while also shedding new light on his collaborations with Duchamp and Kiesler.
This is the first publication to focus on the work of the Jamaican-born American photographer Percy Rainford (1901–1976). Between 1945 and 1956, Rainford collaborated on a number of art projects with Marcel Duchamp, including the special Duchamp issue of View magazine and the cover of the first issue of Le Surréalisme, même, which featured Duchamp's Female Fig Leaf. Duchamp met Rainford in January 1945 through Frederick Kiesler, who also frequently collaborated with Rainford. Rainford began his career in the early 1930s as a photographer of fine art for catalogues and other publications, working for major museums in New York, including the Whitney Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as directly for artists. After meeting Kiesler and Duchamp, Rainford's work began to transcend its documentary impulse and the photographs he made in the 1940s and 1950s reflect his newfound interest in modernist experimentation. Although virtually unknown today, Rainford was a highly respected artist during this period, and this book, which is drawn from extensive archival research and interviews with the artist's family, showcases the work of this remarkable avantgarde photographer, while also shedding new light on his collaborations with Duchamp and Kiesler.
Michael R. Taylor is the chief curator and deputy director at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond, Virginia. Prior to his appointment at VMFA in 2015, he served as the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from 1997 to 2011, and director of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College from 2011 to 2015. A scholar of Dada and Surrealism, with a special focus on the work and ideas of Marcel Duchamp, Michael R. Taylor has organized a number of exhibitions during his career, including “Giorgio de Chirico and the Myth of Ariadne” (2003), “Salvador Dalí: The Centennial Retrospective” (with Dawn Ades) (2004), “Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective” (2009), and “Picasso and the Avant-Garde in Paris” (2010). In 2010, his exhibition catalogue, Marcel Duchamp: Étant donnés, won both the George Wittenborn Prize and first prize for best museum permanent collection catalogue by the American Association of Art Museum Curators. Also in 2009 he was co-commissioner with Carlos Basualdo for the Bruce Nauman exhibition at the American Pavilion for the 53rd Venice Biennale (winner of the Golden Lion award for best national pavilion).