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Rex Rays on Adobe Walls in the Southwest

In 2009 I saw Rex Ray’s Discolaria (96” x 304”) at MCA Denver. Shortly after returning from Denver I stumbled onto a solo exhibition from the same artist at Turner Carroll Gallery in Santa Fe.

Rex Ray, Hydrosperae

The elaborate patterning and technical ability of Ray’s works immediately struck me—the precision with which each collaged part adheres to the canvas or wood panel. And Ray’s pieces have many parts.

Imagine a child’s sense of color, combined with “whirly dirly thingys”, perhaps from a fairground or circus, along with curvilinear Seuss-like dripping trees, studded lines and kaleidoscopes; that’s a Rex Ray. Ray tends away from the straight line. However, his lines are hard-edged, which might sound like a contradiction. In total, what is most striking in a Rex Ray is the clarity of the hand-cut lines from paper—the hard edges—that are so precise.

Rex Ray, Baromyces

Ray refers to his art as influenced by his first profession as a graphic designer, commenting that “the hard edges, the symmetry, and the bright colors,” are aesthetic choices he brings to both art and design. (His book titled Art + Design offers more on this subject.)

Rex Ray, Lentoria

A series of Ray’s works are currently on display at Turner Carroll Gallery. Also note: Rays look fantastic hung on adobe walls.

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