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Charles Ray (b. 1953)
Charles Ray (b. 1953)
Charles Ray (b. 1953)
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Charles Ray (b. 1953)
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Charles Ray (b. 1953)


Charles Ray (b. 1953)
16 mm film and film projector
approximately 12½ minutes; dimensions variable
Executed in 1996. This work is the artist's proof from an edition of four plus one artist's proof and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.
Acquired from the artist
B. Riemschneider and U. Grosenick, Art at the Turn of the Millennium, Cologne 1999, p.417, no.6 (illustrated).
New York, Feature, Charles Ray-Fashions, October 1996 (another example exhibited).
Milan, Studio Guenzani, Charles Ray-Fashions, October 1996 (another example exhibited).
Washington, D.C., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Distemper: Dissonant Themes in Art of the 1990's, June-September 1996.
Chicago, The Arts Club of Chicago, Charles Ray-Fashions, May 1997 (another example exhibited).
Lyon, 4eme biennale d'art contemporain de Lyon-l'autre, curator Harald Szeemann, July-September 1997, p.120 (illustrated, another example exhibited).
Milwaukee Art Museum and Aspen Art Museum, Identity Crisis: Self-Portraiture at the End of the Century, September 1997-February 1998.
Humlebaek, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art; Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg; Torino, Castello di Rivoli, Museo d'Arte Contemporanea and Los Angeles, University of California, The Armand Hammer Museum of Art, Sunshine and Noir: Art in LA 1960-1997, May 1997-January 1999 (illustrated). Seattle, Donald Young Gallery, Charles Ray-Fashions, March 1998.
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art; Los Angeles, The Museum of Contemporary Art and Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Charles Ray, June 1998-Septemeber 1999, pl.46 (illustrated; another example exhibited).
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Lot Essay

Charles Ray's Fashions (1996) and fashion designer Martin Margiela's spring collection focus on the living model as mannequin. The real fashion and art inspire the possibility of an alternative reality: a world whose frame is drawn between our consciousness and representation.

Ray's film plays approximately 15 minutes and portrays a woman perfectly posed on a rotating pedestal. The clothing she wears was created by Ray on the model's body. This tableau vivant recalls the earliest form of picture making, in which a scene is presented on stage with silent and motionless costumed participants. Each rotation of the model is another tableau taking us into the world of various types and themes: the hippie, the cocktail hostess, the Ancien Regime grande dame, the disco queen, the Dutch milk girl. In this snapshot glimpse into Ray's perception of the world of fashion, not only is time shifted, but the model's body is altered by the cut of the materials used. One image reveals her legs and upper body in a tight, bright miniskirt and draped halter top that is attached to her body with bright blue packing tape. The next ensemble uses puffed silk that falls to the ground suggesting a mock evening gown and distorting the model's body into a balloon shape. These garments are something other than clothing: they become objects in themselves, manipulating the body on which they rest. The model, who remains anonymous, plays both gender roles - androgynous and robust, her tattooed and muscular physique is used as a tailor's dummy off-screen. Ray's interest in turning the body and clothing into sculpture recalls his early work, beginning with the Plank Pieces and All My Clothes from the early 70s, and, as the film reveals, he has maintained an interest in the relationship between fashion and sculpture as it relates to the objectification of the body...

....The worlds to which clothing gives us access to are historical and psychological ones. Externalising our visions and fantasies, these glimpses into our desires find a major locus in fashion and art. There we can create a world in which to see ourselves realised as something other. Fashion, conceived in both Margiela and Ray's work, provides access to a transformative experience, something that alters accepted norms and blurs the boundaries of our perception.
- Yvette Brackman, "Charles Ray, Fashions, Feature," Frieze Magazine, May 1997.

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