Friday, July 15, 2011

Charles LeDray

Undoubtedly among my favorite artists Charles LeDray currently has a retrospective on view at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and N and I went to see it last week.
One of my favorite works in the show is his installation "Mens Suits." It features 3 vignettes of a used clothing store in miniature. The first area (above) is the receiving/basement room where the clothes come in.

And there are 2 display rooms; each room features an authentic drop ceiling, complete with dust on top, and a shabby, hand-made linoleum floor.

Reviews of LeDray's work usually focus on how amazing it is that he actually makes every part of the work, all the tiny clothes with working zippers and buttons, etc., and that is spectacular. But as a person trained in the crafts good craftsmanship and skill are not such novelties to me. His detail is impressive, but not the most impressive part.

This installation was so poignant and sad, mostly because of the scale. Most of us have been to dreary stores, but seeing it on this scale and looking down on it makes you think about the fictional lives of those tiny clothes and the people who discarded them and the people who will buy them. Like the reviewer in the above linked-to review says, "(LeDray) looks with infinite compassion on the belongings of the dispossessed and the down and out, the downside of the American dream."

1 comment:

john clark said...

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