Charles LeDray (b. 1960, Seattle) conjures stories of human experience through a hand-made world in miniature. Comprised of scaled-down replicas of found or imagined everyday objects, the factual appearance of LeDray’s work disguises the remarkable means of their creation––meticulously hand-crafted, sewn, cast, carved, and sculpted––the artist’s attention to detail renders the work true to life. The work is rich with conceptual complexity and a multiplicity of associations (cultural, historical, and personal). The familiarity of the objects provokes a sense of collective memory, like souvenirs of the past, conceiving both intimate and enigmatic narratives. LeDray’s work is marked by artistic invention, masterful handling of technique, and an uncanny manipulation of scale.
LeDray lives and works between New York City and the Hudson Valley. In 1997, he was the recipient of the Prix de Rome from the American Academy in Rome; and in 1993, he received the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award in Long Island. In 2012, he had a solo exhibition at The Bass Museum of Art, Miami. In 2010, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston organized a comprehensive retrospective, which traveled to the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. In 2009, Artangel, London commissioned MENS SUITS, a major installation in a 19th century Victorian firehouse. From 2002–2003, LeDray was the subject of a survey exhibition organized by the ICA Philadelphia, which traveled to the Arts Club of Chicago; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; and Seattle Art Museum. His work was included in group exhibitions at the Palazzo Reale, Milan (2022); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2019); the Tacoma Art Museum (2019); the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2016); the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Connecticut (2016); the Olana and the Thomas Cole Site, New York (2015); the Denver Art Museum (2013); the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2012); and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1997).
LeDray’s work can be found in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC.