Charles Le Drey
Sperone Westwater is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Charles LeDray. For his second solo show at the gallery, LeDray will exhibit twelve new sculptures, as well as a fourth installment of his ongoing project “Village People.”
“Village People” (2003-2006) presents a procession of 21 storied hats made by the artist. Placed high on the wall, the multiple identities/ideologies that this series represents are seen together in an increasingly expanded context. According to Holland Cotter, “Mr. LeDray’s sculptures feel dense with compressed energy and, perhaps for that reason, seem to command monumental stretches of surrounding space.” While maintaining fidelity to each element’s real world counterpart, LeDray’s process of condensing information also renders these objects unfamiliar.
“Party Bed,” which takes as its form a bed, decked out in striped sheets and floral bedding, is piled high with an accumulation of assorted coats and accessories. This seemingly literal presentation of coats left by party guests is charged by an ambiguity of meaning and an intense physical process. This impressive group of new works further emphasizes Ken Johnson’s statement that “LeDray is one of those rare artists who bring to art-making no ideological program but only an acutely personal way with materials and a fabulously unpredictable imagination.”
Fabricated from a long and varied list of materials, LeDray’s sculptures—whether presented individually or collectively in parts—challenge notions of scale. These works, however, offer little or no indication of the complex processes by which they were created. The media for one work alone include: acrylic paint, Alumalite, brass, embroidery floss, epoxy resin, glitter, various fabrics, oil-based enamel paint, gold-plate, rhodium-plate, patina, paper, pearlescent paint, plastic, sawdust, SO Strong coloring, steel, string, thread and wood. When the extensive labors undertaken in the making of each sculpture are understood, the works take on an astonishing quality in their opposition of the familiar and the irrational.
Born in Seattle in 1960, LeDray lives and works in New York. In 2002-2003, LeDray was the subject of a major traveling survey exhibition organized by the ICA Philadelphia, which toured to the Arts Club of Chicago, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the Seattle Art Museum. In 1993, LeDray received the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award and in 1997 he was the recipient of the Prix de Rome from the American Academy in Rome. The artist’s work can be found in many major public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Hammer Museum at UCLA, and the Wadsworth Atheneum.