Shulamit Nazarian is pleased to present I AM THE HOUSE, a series of new photographs and sculptures by Los Angeles-based Fay Ray. This will be the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.
I AM THE HOUSE continues Ray’s interest in the fetishization of objects and the construction of female identity through high-contrast, monochromatic photomontages and suspended metallic sculptures. Throughout this series, she situates the body as a vessel, one that carries life, physical memories, and emotional fortitude.
Employing a wide array of images and materials, these new works usher in various references to transformations that occur during the initial and end stages of life. Eggs, flowers, and desiccated corn signify the fragility of existence, while portals, crushed beer cans, and cacti complicate the references to beauty and luxury that have long been staples of the artist’s visual lexicon.
In her studio, Ray collects, categorizes, and arranges dense combinations of materials and images that are then photographed. The photographs are subsequently printed, cut, reorganized, and photographed again. The resulting abstract photomontages are densely layered with a wealth of symbols.
To make her three-dimensional works, the artist assembles stones, shells, and other natural materials with cast-aluminum objects, wire, and chain. The resulting suspended sculptural masses borrow the metaphors and composition of traditional religious relics, with a nod to the occult. Conflating worship and desire, Ray’s sculptures indicate the presence of a body that is rematerialized through a mysterious yet systematic organization of abstract forms.
Bridging the artist’s photomontages and suspended sculptures are a new series of dye-sublimation prints on aluminum that are cut into irregular shapes. These new works directly link image and object, allowing the artist to explore physical structure and various pictorial references simultaneously.
Altogether, Ray’s work negotiates both material and metaphorical references to the body as a fragile, yet resilient vehicle equally capable of desire, lust, pain, and sorrow.
Fay Ray (b. 1978, Riverside, CA) received her BFA from Otis College of Art and Design in 2002, and her MFA from Columbia University in 2005. She has exhibited at galleries within the US and internationally, including Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris (2016); Louis B James Gallery, New York (2016); Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles (2016); JOAN, Los Angeles (2015); Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles (2012); and Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills (2011) and New York (2007), among others.