The paintings give form to a state of close attention, presenting specific places in series. Ray spends time with each location both in person and in memory, working from her drawings and photographs collected over time. Expansive views are contained on small surfaces, and succinct compositions become foundations for color, light, and space. Geometry materializes in the warmth of the visible world, as open horizons contrast with the rigid horizontals and verticals of architecture. Each painting is direct in its depiction of a nameable place, but subjective in scale and cropping, locating the viewer in a sense of place beyond an initial impression.
The oil on panel paintings assembled here can be grouped into four series: images of Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty on the northeastern shore of Utah’s Great Salt Lake, depicted from varying vantage points and times of day; Italian interiors, with glimpses of frescoes by Fra Angelico and Giotto; Donald Judd’s concrete and mill aluminum works in Marfa, Texas; and open landscapes across the American West, particularly Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico. Focusing on locations both iconic and anonymous, Ray looks at the specific, yet unbounded, qualities of place, bringing distinct encounters into intuitive correspondence.