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Reclining woman

Charles Ray American

Not on view

Reclining woman emerged at the intersection of multiple incidental encounters, from Ray’s routine observation of a tiny tchotchke on his kitchen windowsill to a chance meeting with a personal banker, who struck the artist as a fitting model for a sculpture. Ray was also aware of the ubiquity of the reclining female nude in Western art, a pattern or archetype explored by his modernist forebears Henri Matisse and Henry Moore.

Every element, from squinting eye to curling toe, is rendered in relationship to the others, even as the reflective surface makes some details hard to see. Through carefully calibrated milling and polishing, the fleshly folds and contours of the woman’s body are set off by the crisp lines of the cuboidal block upon which it rests, drawing strikingly different effects from the same material.

Reclining woman, Charles Ray (American, born Chicago, Illinois, 1953), Stainless steel

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photograph by Sean Logue