Lot 2
  • 2

Charles Ray

300,000 - 400,000 USD
302,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • Charles Ray
  • Untitled
  • signed by Charles Ray on a label affixed to the backing; signed B. McKinney and dated 12- 91
  • non photo blue pencil, marker and ink on illustration board


Mark Ewert, Los Angeles
Feature Inc., New York (acquired from the above)
Christie's New York, November 16, 1999, Lot 13
Acquired by the present owner from the above


New York, Feature Inc., Representational Drawings, April - May 1995, illustrated on the invitation
Geneva, BFAS Blondeau Fine Art Services, Political Corect, September - October 2008


Mark Ewert and Mitchell Watkins, Ruh -Roh, Los Angeles, November 1992, illustrated

Catalogue Note

Charles Ray can be found as the protagonist throughout his work, dangling from wooden planks, stuffed into large glass bottles and participating in orgies. Ray's slight frame and round spectacles are easily recognizable, including as the figure in the present work who is accosted by Superman with the demand, "Who the Fuck is Roy Lichtenstein?". Startled awake, Ray is held accountable for the perceived transgressions of his artistic predecessors in the dichotomy between ``high'' and low culture. With Lichtenstein as his subject, Ray accesses the tradition of artists who appropriated the comic book from the graphic world and repositioned it in the gallery world.

His conceptual approach to this work perpetuates the dialogue, since his hand took no part in its execution. "I've never been able to draw," he explains. "I hired a D.C. comic artist to do drawings for a book. I'm in bed and Superman busts through my wall." B. McKinney, a professional cartoonist drew this particular illustration for the 1992 edition of the comic magazine, Ruh- Roh edited by Mark Ewert and Mitchell Watkins. In this fashion, Ray forces the viewer to think critically about high art. We begin by questioning what differentiates a Lichtenstein from a cartoon and end wondering what defines an artist. Having conceived the idea, is the artist still the artist if someone else executed the image? As the artist stated, "I'm not sure I problem solve in a logical way. It's more about trying to create an equation then to solve one." (Paul Dickerson, ``Charles Ray'', Bomb, issue 52, Summer 1995).