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Kiki Man Ray: Art, Love and Rivalry in 1920s Paris

A dazzling portrait of Paris’s forgotten artist and cabaret star, whose incandescent life asks us to see the history of modern art in new ways.

In freewheeling 1920s Paris, Kiki de Montparnasse captivated as a nightclub performer, sold out gallery showings of her paintings, starred in Surrealist films, and shared drinks and ideas with the likes of Jean Cocteau and Marcel Duchamp. Her best-selling memoir—featuring an introduction by Ernest Hemingway—made front-page news in France and was immediately banned in America. All before she turned thirty.

Kiki was once the symbol of bohemian Paris. But if she is remembered today, it is only for posing for several now-celebrated male artists, including Amedeo Modigliani and Alexander Calder, and especially photographer Man Ray. Why has Man Ray’s legacy endured while Kiki has become a footnote? Paperback, 304 pages.

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