For Charles Ray (born 1953), sculpture is a way of thinking that informs his work across a wide range of media—from gelatin silver prints to porcelain, fiberglass, wood, and steel. Charles Ray: Figure Ground spans the whole of the artist’s fifty-year career, from his early photographs and performances through his intriguing, often unsettling sculptures, some of which are published here for the first time. The essays foreground Ray’s engagement with preexisting traditions, as well as charged issues around race, gender, and sexuality (notably expressed through his explorations of Mark Twain’s 1884 novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) and investigate the modalities of touch that run through his work. In addition, a reflection by Ray himself and a conversation between the artist and Hal Foster offer further insights into his multifaceted practice.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Paperback, 112 pages