Jeff Ray: Cathedrals
SDSU Downtown Gallery
725 W. Broadway
San Diego, CA 92101
On view through June 12, 2016
Article by Cathy Breslaw
An atheist who loves cathedrals?? Hmmm…, yet that is what San Francisco Bay Area artist Jeff Ray told me when I visited the pre-opening installation of his works. His is a multi-sensory exhibition including photography, video, sculpture and multi-media works that combine drawing, photography, and sound compositions created by Ray. Ray expresses his love of architecture and nature by weaving landscapes together with acrylic paint, pen and ink line drawings. Using photos of both interiors and exteriors of cathedrals, houses, commercial buildings, ships, and bridges, Ray overlays multi-colored ‘lines’ , creating geometric shapes, and thick and thin straight lines. Many of his works on paper are created on graph paper and some with LED backlighting, which feature Ray’s narratives and investigations of architectural spaces and underlying structures as they interface with the landscape and surrounding environment.
The geometric ‘overlay’ drawing atop and within these photos stretches the depth of these works and it appears that Ray is on an obsessive search to locate the multi-dimensional layers found in the both visible and invisible spaces around us. Some of the works include Ray’s sound compositions – these musical scores punctuate timing, movement and rhythm within the visual compositions and offer additional information to viewers about Ray’s central artistic concerns. Two large-scale long and narrow inkjet prints on paper have a spiritual feel and are the foundation of this exhibition. These are site-specific works on tall and separate columns within the gallery space. Cathedral of Light,Oakland #1 is a dramatic interior image of a cathedral and the other related work is an outdoor image School with Redwoods, Canyon, Oakland #1 of tall trees that form a ‘natural’ cathedral. An Untitled Video Montage, 2010 – 2016 of digital video, composition and sound round out this multi-sensory exhibition.
IMAGE : Saint Mary’s Cathedral, San Francisco, California, 2015 (detail). Mixed media (Digital photography, pen and ink, watercolor, acrylic, music composition)