Tiny suits, miniature ceramic vessels in towering vitrines, hand-embroidered baseball caps, Charles LeDray’s work is a poetry of material, scale, and cultural resonance rich with history and emotion. Well known for his exquisitely crafted objects, working in a range of materials from fabric to human bone, LeDray’s work touches on loss, pathos, and absence. These objects, each exquisite in their separate ways, are also meticulously made by hand, bringing awe to our experience of them, each object virtually singing or humming from beneath the crushing conceptual weight of the immense labor involved in their own creation.
Charles LeDray: Bass Museum of Art is the artist’s first museum exhibition to follow his just-completed comprehensive survey exhibition workworkworkworkwork, which was organized by The Institute of Contemporary Art Boston and toured to The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
While workworkworkworkwork included more than 50 art works spanning the artist’s career, Charles LeDray: Bass Museum of Art will consist of just four art works, including his major work Mens’ Suits. The result is an exhibition giving enormous physical and imaginative space to only four very carefully selected works, allowing each work its autonomy even as each also adds their voice to an intimate conversation. In contrast to a survey that seeks to explore the full range of an artist’s concerns or approaches, Charles LeDray: Bass Museum of Art will place the emphasis on a unique experience of the artist’s work in a specific place at a specific time. Not meant to represent the artist’s overall oeuvre, or even to represent any particular theme within the artist’s work, this exhibition is focused on creating a unique dialogue between four individual, powerful works – a dialogue of profound intellectual and visual beauty.
Charles LeDray: Bass Museum of Art is the artist’s first exhibition in Florida.
Curated by Steven Holmes, Adjunct Curator, Bass Museum of Art
Charles LeDray, born in Seattle in 1960, lives and works in New York. Solo exhibitions include the ICA Boston, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Galerie Schmela, Düsseldorf, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco and Seattle Art Museum. Public collections: The Museum of Modern Art; The Whitney Museum of American Art; The Denver Art Museum; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and The Institute of Contemporary Art Boston. Awards: American Academy in Rome, “Prix de Rome” 1997-1998; The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, 1993.
Image: Charles LeDray, MENS SUITS, 2009 | Variable dimensions | Installation view, Bass Museum of Art, 2012
Courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York | Photo Credit: Peter Harholdt