Charles Ray


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Figure Ground

Kelly Baum and Brinda Kumar; With contributions by Charles Ray and Hal Foster

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This career-spanning publication features conceptual, political, formal, and technical perspectives on the work of contemporary sculptor Charles Ray

For Charles Ray (born 1953), sculpture is a way of thinking that informs his work across a wide range of media—from gelatin silver prints to porcelain, fiberglass, wood, and steel. Charles Ray: Figure Ground spans the whole of the artist’s fifty-year career, from his early photographs and performances through his intriguing, often unsettling sculptures, some of which are published here for the first time.
The essays foreground Ray’s engagement with preexisting traditions, as well as charged issues around race, gender, and sexuality (notably expressed through his explorations of Mark Twain’s 1884 novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) and investigate the modalities of touch that run through his work. In addition, a reflection by Ray himself and a conversation between the artist and Hal Foster offer further insights into his multifaceted practice.
Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Distributed by Yale University Press  
Exhibition Schedule:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
(January 31–June 5, 2022)

Kelly Baum is the Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Curator of Contemporary Art, and Brinda Kumar is associate curator, both in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
(January 31–June 5, 2022)

“The exhibition catalog contains useful essays by the show’s two main curators, Kelly Baum and Brinda Kumar, and a lively conversation between Ray and the critic Hal Foster that shows off the artist’s intelligence and sense of humor.”—David Salle, New York Review of Books
ISBN: 9781588397423
Publication Date: February 22, 2022
Publishing Partner: Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Distributed by Yale University Press
112 pages, 9 x 10
87 color illus.
Pop Art

Contemporary Perspectives

Preface by John Wilmerding; Introduction by Hal Foster; Ess

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Nobody's Property

Art, Land, Space, 2000-2010

Kelly Baum; With contributions by Yates McKee, Alex Bacon,

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More than One

Photographs in Sequence

Edited by Joel Smith; With essays by Peter Barberie, Kelly

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New Jersey as Non-Site

Kelly Baum; With contributions by Beatriz Colomina, Kathryn

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Cézanne and the Modern

Masterpieces of European Art from the Pearlman Collection

Essay by Rachael Z. DeLue

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Art at the Limits of Reason, 1950-1980

Kelly Baum with Lucy Bradnock and Tina Rivers Ryan

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