Man Ray and Pablo Picasso met in 1921 after Ray moved from the United Stated to Paris, settling in the artist-centric neighborhood of Montparnasse. Picasso was inspired by Ray’s recent invention of the “rayograph,” a photograph made without a camera by placing objects directly on photosensitized paper and exposing it to light. Ray’s desire for experimentation is also present in earlier works, such as Symphony Orchestra. This composition is made up of simple adjoining shapes and lively colors, yet it retains significant representational elements; a grand piano, musical staff, and stringed instruments are all discernible. During World War II (1939–45), Ray was forced to return to the United States, and he soon lost touch with Picasso. In the early 1950s, he moved back to Paris and immediately sought to reestablish his friendship with the artist.
Label from Picasso: The Artist and His Models, November 5, 2016–February 19, 2017