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Charles Ray

A Portrait of the Artist in Heaven

October 20 - November 7, 2006
521 W 21 Street

Press Release

Matthew Marks is pleased to announce the exhibition of a new work by Charles Ray.

Inspired by a packet of seeds the artist found in 2004 at a gardening center near his studio, this work is a photograph of a sculpture of a pure white jack-o-lantern. The artist began by forming the jack-o-lantern in clay, then cast it in plaster and other materials, and finally photographed it with a black background. The finished work is designed in the scale and format of a poster. It pairs the image of the pumpkin sculpture with text laid out by the artist, which reads "Lumina Pumpkin, 110 Days," the time from germination to maturity for this particular kind of pumpkin, typically grown for carving and baking. At the lower left appears a company logo for "St. Fiacre Seeds," an imaginary seed company named after the patron saint of gardeners.

Over the past thirty years Charles Ray has produced a precise and widely admired body of work in a variety of media using both abstract and figurative forms. He had his first one-person museum exhibition in 1989. Since that time, he has shown his work at museums around the world and has been included in two Venice Biennales (1993, 2003), Documenta IX (1992), and four Whitney Biennials. His work was the subject of a 1998 retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, which traveled to the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

Charles Ray: A Portrait of the Artist in Heaven will be on view at the Matthew Marks Gallery through November 7, 2006. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 12:00 to 6:00 PM.

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