Years of a Friendship 1956 - 1976. By Man Ray & L. Fritz Gruber, introduction by Gabriele Conrath-Scholl, text by Herbert Molderings, Claudia Schubert. Steidl & Partners, 2008. 216 pp., 260 color illustrations., 8x12".
"One was a famous artist and a pioneering photographer, the other an ardent collector of photography, a curator and author - known to his many friends as “Mr. Photokina” for his founding and curatorship of the legendary exhibitions at the Photokina photography fair in Cologne.
Man Ray (1890-1976) and L. Fritz Gruber (1908-2005) nurtured a professional and personal friendship for more than 20 years, enjoying that particular closeness that can sometimes arise between artist and connoisseur. Gruber was closely involved in projects such as Man Ray’s solo exhibition at Photokina and the book Man Ray Portraits, one of many now-collectable photography books Gruber edited.
With an unsurpassed scholarly knowledge of Man Ray’s work, over the course of several decades Gruber and his wife Renate put together the collection that is the basis of this book. (The collection itself now resides in Cologne’s Ludwig Museum.)
In addition to Man Ray’s photographs, sculptural work and objects, the book includes extensive correspondence between Man Ray and Gruber and several essays on their association.
Against this broadly drawn backdrop, amoving personal picture emerges of the Grubers’diligent commitment to the work of this American artist. This volume provides many new insights on Man Ray, particularly within the final creative phase of his life."