Friday, December 17, 2010
I trekked out with the baby carriage and made it all the way uptown to the Whitney. I was really wanting to make sure that I saw the Charles LeDray exhibit that is there now. I had never heard of Charles Ledray nor had I ever seen his work but I saw a little blip about it online and they had one image and I knew it was a must for me.
Charles mostly works with fabric, and from the images you do not realize it but does so in miniature. He meticulously makes each piece of clothing by hand on a small scale, embroidering patches, being mindful of the re-creation to reference the class of the clothing, and considers everything down to the last stitch.
It is very interesting to see his work in a space such as the Whitney, this large expansive symbol of the American Art world and his small, meticulous "doll" clothing carefully placed on the wall. It made me, as an artist, think a lot about the role of scale and how scale affects the way the viewer responds, experiences, and thinks of the work.
His work is very interesting and quite lovely in his simple but seemingly casual style of display. I especially love the works that seem to be deconstructing themselves in some way.
He often uses the clothing to reference class, gender, sexual preference and all the other myriad of identities we walk through life with.
His work the party bed made me smile- that ever present pile of mismatched coats of such variation piled on the bed. But in the small scale it made you see the charm and beauty of such a place where everyone just mixes up and gets cozy on the bed (metaphorically of course.)
Surprisingly one of my favorite works was not of his clothing pieces but one of his 3 works that use thousand and thousands of individual, unique, miniature works of pottery. The one I liked best is the 2nd work he made in this way, oasis, where each small vessel is painted colorfully- truly celebrating its unique nature. The individuality and sheer number is amazing but the display allows you to walk around look down, look up and see the beauty of such diversity and yet connection and similarity. It was a truly lovely piece that does not even begin to translate in any photos I have found.
the exhibit blew me away but it was definitely worth the visit even with the pain of trekking through the subway system with a baby. There is also a very thoughtful and lovely exhibit on Edward Hopper's work on display. His gallery, Sperrone Westwater, has plenty of images and info on him here.