Published by Hatje Cantz. Text by Bernhard Mendes Bürgi, Douglas Druik, Michael Fried, Richard Neer, Charles Ray, James Rondeau, Anne Wagner.
Charles Ray (born 1953) is one of America’s most outstanding contemporary sculptors. Like Jeff Koons and Katharina Fritsch, he has developed a new kind of plastic figuration, as can be seen in his white-painted steel sculpture “Boy with Frog” (2009), whose recent installation on the Punta della Dogana in Venice drew a great deal of critical and popular attention. Despite its apparent naturalism, Ray’s oversized figure of a nude boy frolicking animatedly, even rabidly, with the animal world, verges upon the classical. “Horse and Rider,” a self-portrait of the artist on horseback (2014), likewise revives the traditional images of the horseback rider and the hero of the American West, but in a way that is decidedly anti-heroic. This volume offers a comprehensive monograph on Ray’s sculptural works of recent years.
Published by Olympic Productions/Matthew Marks Gallery.
This volume documents the stages of work and materials used to realize Charles Ray’s "Young Man" (2012), a 1,500-pound sculpture in solid stainless steel. Printed on unbound pages, this publication shows the development of Ray’s sculpture alongside a set of life-size details that can be reconfigured into two full-scale photographs of the work.
Published by Matthew Marks Gallery. Text by Michael Fried, John Kelsey.
Ever since the early 1970s, sculptor Charles Ray's protean practice has yielded some of the most memorable objects and experiences in contemporary art, causing us to confront, as Peter Schjeldahl has written, "elegant, deadpan fabrications that flip wild switches in our minds." In 1987's "Ink Line," for example, he sent a single stream of ink flowing to the middle of a gallery's floor in a slender column; outside the 1993 Whitney Biennial he parked a massive replica of a toy fire engine. His recent work is just as alluring and unsettling: a steel sculpture of a handheld bird, a poster of an ominous pumpkin, an intricate cast aluminum sculpture of a tractor. Charles Ray surveys the work the artist has made in the past dozen years; an interview by Michael Fried and an essay by John Kelsey complement texts written about each work by Ray himself.
Charles Ray writes: “Ten years ago, while driving up the central coast of California, I spotted a fallen tree in a meadow just off the highway. I was instantly drawn to it... [and] was inspired to make a sculpture.” In Log, Ray describes the making of this sculpture, a work that saw him collaborate with Japanese master woodworker Yuboku Mukoyoshi in an effort to capture the life of wood, and to make an object that would “breathe life into the world that surrounds it.” Ray's sculpture is now on view at the Art Institute of Chicago.