The National Portrait Gallery of London is to stage the first museum exhibition devoted to portraits by the photographer Man Ray.

One of the most innovative photographers of the 20th century, Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitzky) is best known for his avant garde images. But he also produced portraits of artists, musicians and performers throughout his career, photographing the likes of Catherine Deneuve, Pablo Picasso and Juliette Greco.

Sandy Nairne, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said: “Man Ray was a fascinating and complex figure, and one of the great artists of the 20th century.

“These are really important portraits we want people to have a chance to see. While some of the image will be extremely well known, others will not.”

Man Ray Portraits runs from 7 February–27 May 2013.