Peter Freeman, Inc., is pleased to present Charles LeDray: American Standard, the artist’s inaugural show with the gallery and his first exhibition of new work in over ten years.
LeDray’s body of work comprises hand-made replicas of found or imagined everyday objects whose factual appearance disguises the remarkable means of their creation. LeDray combines these objects (a tie, suspenders, a hotel key, a wedding ring; a stack of industrial bricks, mortar oozing between them; cinder blocks, work gloves, tools; a janitor’s mop) into familiar and enigmatic narratives. The imagery is concrete: eerily detached from reality by scale, yet the artist’s attention to detail renders the works true to life. Some groupings of objects appear as still lifes, each one narrative rich with conceptual complexity and a multiplicity of associations (cultural, historical, and personal).
This exhibition includes fifteen new sculptures and eleven new drawings, enlargements of vintage ex-libris plates: symbols of the readers’ pride of ownership and varied self-interests, a theme that weaves in and out of the sculptural works as well, and is implicit in the show’s title, American Standard. In American Standard / Crazy Quilt (2017-2018), a quilt composed of thousands of colorful, irregular pieces of fabric substitutes an American flag hanging on a flag pole topped with a golden eagle. Eagles Softball (2016-2018) proposes a carpenter’s workshop replete with painted silhouettes of absent tools (and their wire attachments) inhabiting a hand-drilled peg board wall. At its center is a banner proclaiming “EAGLES NYC SOFTBALL,” a recreation of a 1980s artifact from a sports team sponsored by the infamous NYC bar. This is attended to by other signifying objects: a catcher’s mitt, a key chain, a horseshoe, a rabbit’s foot. Throughout LeDray’s work, multitudes of forms play as stand-ins for divergent voices that sometimes clash, elsewhere harmonize, as with the books and boxes strewn across a recreated portion of sidewalk in Free Public Library (2015-2019).
Born in Seattle in 1960, Charles LeDray moved to New York in 1989. From 2002-2003, LeDray was the subject of a survey exhibition organized by the ICA Philadelphia, which traveled to the Arts Club of Chicago, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the Seattle Art Museum. In 2009, Artangel, London commissioned MENS SUITS, a major installation in a 19th century Victorian firehouse. In 2010, the ICA Boston organized a comprehensive retrospective, Charles LeDray: workworkworkworkwork, which traveled to the Whitney Museum of American Art and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. In 2012, the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach presented a solo exhibition. His work was installed at Olana and the Thomas Cole Site as part of the exhibition River Crossings: Contemporary Art Comes Home (2015). In 1993, LeDray received the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, and in 1997 he was the recipient of the Prix de Rome from the American Academy in Rome. LeDray’s work can be found in many major public collections including The Museum of Modern Art; Whitney Museum of American Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Hammer Museum at UCLA; Crystal Bridges; The Des Moines Art Center; The Denver Art Museum; The ICA Boston; Philadelphia Art Museum; Smithsonian Museum of American Art; and Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.
The drawings on view here are part of a limited book edition commissioned by the Library Council of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, to be published in November of 2019.
An opening reception will be held on Thursday 21 February from 6 to 8 pm. For reproduction requests and general inquiries, please contact the gallery at 212-966 5154 or email@example.com.