Charles Ray - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Thursday, November 17, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Donald Young Gallery, Seattle
    Paul Morris Gallery, New York
    Regen Projects, Los Angeles
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in December 1998

  • Exhibited

    Malmö, Rooseum-Center for Contemporary Art; London, Institute of Contemporary Art; Kunsthalle Bern and Kunsthalle Zurich, Charles Ray, March - October 1994 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    London, Saatchi Gallery, Young Americans: New American Art in the Saatchi Collection, January - May 1996, pp. 94-95 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    New York, Whitney Museum of American Art; Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art; Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Charles Ray, June 1998 - September 1999, p. 70 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Washington D.C., Corcoran Gallery of Art; Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Jasper Johns to Jeff Koons: Four Decades of Art from the Broad Collection, October 2001 - October 2002, pp. 200-201 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, Evidence of Impact: Art and Photography 1963-1978, July - October 2004 (another example exhibited)
    Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, The Last Picture Show Using Photography, 1960-1982, October 12, 2003 - January 11, 2004

  • Literature

    Klaus Kertess, Photography Transformed: the Metropolitan Bank and Trust Collection, New York, 2002, p. 173 ( illustrated)
    Mary Abbe, “The F-Stops Here,” Star Tribune, October 10, 2003
    Bernard Cooper, “Too Much Info,” Los Angeles Times, April 2004
    Christopher Knight, “Photo synthesis,” Los Angeles Times, March 7, 2004
    David Deitcher, “The Last Picture Show,” Artforum, February 2004

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the present lot, Charles Ray presents a series of documentary Polaroid photographs starring himself as the subject, modeling the various outfits in his wardrobe. Aptly titled All My Clothes, this work challenges the traditional notion of the self-portrait. Despite being the centerpiece of each image, his own self is largely indiscernible, making the subject more so Ray’s attire than the artist himself. Each image is taken from a straight-on angle, his planted feet meeting the exact point of the horizon line where the white wall and gray floor intersect. From this vantage point, we are unable to decipher Ray’s facial expressions, making the only differentiating factor from one image to the next the outfit he’s fashioning. The Los Angeles-based sculptor and conceptual artist has explored the subject of clothing in many of his sculptural and media projects, including a later film entitled Fashions from 1996, featuring Ray’s friend and fellow artist Frances Stark modeling 100 different outfits. This focus on material objects is present throughout Ray’s oeuvre, demonstrating the artist’s interest in redefining the readymade concept in the postmodern era. In the present lot, his contemporary interpretation of the readymade involves not only everyday objects, but also the carrier of these objects: his own body. By stripping himself of any identity, the artist showcases his preoccupation with the effect of material objects on humans, presenting Ray as a victim to his own wardrobe in images which, in turn end up looking more like mug shots than fine art portraits. Through this aesthetic decision, Ray makes the overarching statement that we are all victims of a materialist culture, driven by consumerist desires and a lack of individuality


All My Clothes

Kodachrome photographs mounted on board
9 x 60 in. (22.9 x 152.4 cm.)
Executed in 1973, this work is number 2 from an edition of 12 plus 3 artist's proofs.

$150,000 - 200,000 

Sold for $150,000

Contact Specialist
John McCord
Head of Day Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1261

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York Auction 17 November 2016