June 25, 2009 - Artangel - Charles LeDray
June 25, 2009

Charles LeDray

Detail from MENS SUITS
Charles LeDray
Commissioned by Artangel
Photo by Tom Powel
Courtesy Sperone Westwater

Artangel presents Charles LeDray’s MENS SUITS in London, from 11 July

The Fire Station, Chiltern Street, London W1


Suits, shirts, ties, and gloves… hundreds of them, painstakingly recreated on a diminutive scale in a dizzying array of colours and styles. Comprised of three distinct settings suggestive of a shabby second-hand clothing store, Charles LeDray’s major new work MENS SUITS is a tour de force of meticulous detail and careful composition.

Resembling places we may have been and things we may have seen or worn, their reductive size imbues the ensemble with a strange and arresting presence. Mixed up and sorted out again, MENS SUITS exploits the tensions between circulation and use, value and exchange in a material world.

All Charles LeDray’s work is like something we have seen or worn, but on a different scale. Much smaller than life-size, they have a quiet, arresting presence. As curator James Rondeau has written, they are “flamboyant and modest, tender and violent”.

LeDray is one of the best kept secrets in contemporary art. Based in a small studio in New York, LeDray labours for years on each new project. Past works include two thousand unique miniature porcelain vessels, over three hundred little books and magazines and jewellery and buttons carved from human bone. Whilst other artists employ small armies of assistants, LeDray is a one-man band. Working mainly with textiles and ceramics, he meticulously stitches and sews, glazes and throws all his work.

Commissioned by Artangel, MENS SUITS has been in the making for the past three years and is LeDray’s first major presentation in Europe.

Other Artangel projects this summer:

Alan Kane – Life Class: Today’s Nude
A special series of free drop-in life classes across the UK continues this week and next (click here for details), before Kane’s project culminates (from 6–10 July) with the Channel 4 broadcast of five TV life classes, with tutors John Berger, Maggi Hambling, Humphrey Ocean, Judy Purbeck and Gary Hume.

Karen Mirza and Brad Butler – The Museum of Non Participation
July-September 09
An Artangel Interaction commission

Launching in July with a special edition English/ Urdu newspaper produced in collaboration with The Daily Jang, and culminating in a festival of events in Bethnal Green in September, Karen Mirza and Brad Butler explore the real and imaginary spaces of the everyday in Karachi and London. The Museum of Non Participation was conceived in 2007 when – during the Pakistani Lawyers movement in Islamabad – Mirza and Butler viewed the protests and subsequent state violence from a window in The Museum of Modern Art. Over the past eighteen months they have undertaken extensive research periods in Pakistan and London, collaborating with street vendors, the cultural elite, architects, estate agents, housing activists, lawyers, hairdressers, artists and writers.

Visit artangel.org.uk to find out more about these and other Artangel projects.

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