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  • Provenance

    Feature Inc., New York

  • Literature

    P. Schimmel, Charles Ray, Los Angeles, p. 69 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay


    The year 1974 was an important moment in the career of Charles Ray, whose sculptural works had already established him as a formidable artist. Ray’s attention to the ways bodies relate with objects—marked by his interest in balance—reflected a conceptual dialogue with New York-based artists such as Richard Serra and Dennis Oppenheim. Ray was physically engaged in the production of his art, and in 1973 he began making his own body a critical element of his sculptural works. The present lot retains the investigation into balance represented in Ray’s earlier works while pushing his oeuvre toward an increased blurring of the boundary between sculpture and performance.
    Bench was a landmark work in this time of Ray’s career. In its completed state it both supports and is supported by the human body, as two people simultaneously sit on opposite ends of the wood plank facing away from each other. The work references Brancusi’s The Kiss, creating tension between the two iconic lovers and separating them by an object that, together, they support. Positioning the human body as visually divided by the wooden board, Bench also looks forward to Ray’s later works which relate objects on opposite sides of a plane.
     

308

Bench

1974
Wooden board.
11 x 139 3/4 x 1 1/2 in. (27.9 x 355 x 3.8 cm).
This work is from an edition of 12.

Estimate
$30,000 - 40,000 

Sold for $22,500

NEW YORK NEW YORK

12 Dec 2009
New York