Charles Ray American

Not on view

From the beginning of his career, Ray has been acutely aware of the myriad ways in which the body is implicated in the form and meaning of sculpture. His interest in indexing his own body—whether as organic matter or as structural dimensions—can be traced to works such as Untitled, realized while he was a student at the University of Iowa. The photograph documents a performance in which the artist had himself trussed up and tied to a tree for several hours, hovering above passersby. Ray’s silhouetted figure appears entangled in the branches and dangerously suspended in midair. Straddling satire and gravity, the work presents as an audacious prank as well as a more disquieting confrontation with a body in extremis.

Untitled, Charles Ray (American, born Chicago, Illinois, 1953), Gelatin silver print

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.