Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to Vessels, Forms and Remains, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Fay Ray.
Ray’s work explores the social and cultural construction of the female body and the attendant psychologies of image making, consumption, and desire. Expanding her interests in the devotional behaviors and obsessions generated by consumer culture, Ray created a new series of works that explicitly engage the language of painting and sculpture to address a complex set of concerns about femininity as a commodifiable cultural object. Through both formal and visceral experimentation, Ray mines ideas of embodied subjectivity in the traditionally masculine realm of monumental painting; problematizing historical narratives through works that introduce subtly implied figures, intimate gestures, and bodily traces.
The monochromatic palate of Ray’s paintings and sculptures reads as anything but blank; rather, it fixes attention on Ray’s intricate sensibilities for form and texture. The plaster surfaces are disrupted with the evidence of pours and manual manipulation, clearly alluding to the artist’s own physical investment and intervention. Found objects are also incorporated into the works – baskets, bikinis, shells, rope and palm fronds – creating structures and patterns while simultaneously disrupting through amassment and accumulation.
In one sculpture, a frontal tableau with a monochromatic pedestal harkens back to the artist’s earlier work, collaged with images from fashion magazines that make ghostly appearances under layers of plaster. A mobile is a totemic presence that precariously balances organic and inorganic matter while a modular floor-bound work with roots in post-minimalist sculpture struggles to contain its own fleshy excesses. Informed by the delicate boundaries that separate devotion and obsession, desire and disgust, consumption and restraint, Ray arranges the works to resemble a gathering place of worship and adoration; a psychoanalytic landscape where the dreams of who we wish to be and the realities of who we are coalesce through the beautifully grotesque objects we consume and those that will never be ours.
Fay Ray received her BFA from Otis College of Art and Design, and her MFA from Columbia University in 2005. She has exhibited at various institutions and galleries including LAXART, Los Angeles, CA; Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica, CA; Luckman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Gagosian Gallery, New York, NY; and El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY, among others.