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Fay Ray at Shulamit Nazarian
May 15, 2021 - June 26, 2021
At Shulamit Nazarian in Hollywood, Fay Ray’s large aluminum mobiles hang throughout the gallery. Some suspend from the ceiling, their metal tendrils kissing the ground, while others are bound to the wall, hanging on oversized metal hooks. The works feel modernist (think Alexander Calder) yet approachable—various stones and pieces of driftwood mix into these creations, mitigating their monolithic nature.
To soften and add dimension to her metal pieces, Ray applies various salts and chemicals to their surfaces and exposes them to the sun. If placed outside, these patinas would continue to shift and slowly corrode, yet inside the gallery, they are paused in their current state. Corn, agave stalks, and seashells are strewn into Ray’s mobiles—like beads on a charm bracelet—each one referencing a childhood memory or aspect of the artist’s family history. The amalgam of industrial and natural materials, and various art histories (modernism, sculptural assemblage, and jewelry making), blend with personal memory to create complex combinations that welcome softness and vulnerability despite their metal exteriors.
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Photo: Fay Ray, “Lacuna” (installation view). Image courtesy of the artist and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles.