pilic.work

two parisian museums jointly present charles ray’s WORK

from february to june 2022, the work of american sculptor charles ray will be on view at two parisian museums simultaneously. the bourse de commerce – pinault collection and the centre pompidou jointly present two exhibitions, one in each museum, devoted to the artist. ray’s oeuvre of works, which consists of some 100 sculptures and bas-reliefs, asks the viewer ‘what is a sculpture?’,  offering multiple answers in return. whether the work is produced in steel, fiberglass, aluminium, cement, paper or polished steel, his practice brings together various processes, between craftsmanship and cutting-edge industrial technology, always concealing a complexity that is often prodigious and time-consuming.

over a third of ray’s sculpted work can be seen in paris for the first time, with approximately twenty works at the bourse de commerce – pinault collection, and the equivalent at the centre pompidou. this carte blanche to the artist marks the first of its kind in france and europe in terms of its scale. the two events offer complementary perspectives and have led to a joint and in-depth publication on charles ray’s work, published by the centre pompidou under the direction of jean-pierre criqui and caroline bourgeois.

what is a sculpture? bourse de commerce + centre pompidou exhibit the work of charles ray
charles ray, horse and rider, 2014, stainless steel, 278 x 102 x 269 cm, © charles ray, pinault collection forecourt of the bourse de commerce – pinault collection, paris, 2021, courtesy pinault collection. photo by aurélien mole (also header image)

over a third of RAY’S SCULPTURAL PIECES IN PARIS

a major figure on the contemporary art scene, charles ray was born in chicago in 1953, and currently lives and works in los angeles. ray’s work is informed by an in-depth knowledge of the history of sculptural art, from ancient greek sculptures to the creations of some of his contemporaries, and is distinguished by its immediacy. through their ‘strange familiarity’, ambiguity, and flawless technical precision, his sculptural pieces destabilize, almost managing to unsettle the space around them.

the exhibitions at the bourse de commerce – pinault collection and the centre pompidou, designed in dialogue with the artist, offer a journey through a landscape engaging both the mind and the body, with a representative collection that illustrates the different directions of his works. at the bourse de commerce, the exhibition covers two-thirds of the total exhibition surface area, stretching from the forecourt to the rotunda, and from the salon to the galleries on the second floor. it reveals an exceptional collection, including six previously unknown works, coming from the pinault collection and on loan from major international public and private collections. meanwhile, two works from the pinault collection are on loan to the centre pompidou for the occasion. both exhibitions open on february 16, with the bourse de commerce one closing on june 6 and the centre pompidou on june 20, 2022.

what is a sculpture? bourse de commerce + centre pompidou exhibit the work of charles ray
charles ray, horse and rider, 2014, stainless steel, 278 x 102 x 269 cm, © charles ray, pinault collection forecourt of the bourse de commerce – pinault collection, paris, 2021, courtesy pinault collection. photo by aurélien mole

what is a sculpture? bourse de commerce + centre pompidou exhibit the work of charles ray
boy with frog, 2009, painted stainless steel, 247 x 91 x 96.5 cm, sculpture 99.8 kg, base 34 kg, pinault collection © charles ray | exhibition view, mapping the studio, punta della dogana, 2009-2011, photo by joshua white

what is a sculpture? bourse de commerce + centre pompidou exhibit the work of charles ray
tractor, 2005, aluminum, 144 x 306 x 155 cm, astrup fearley museet © charles ray, courtesy of the artist and matthew marks gallery, photo by beth phillips