Charles LeDray, Mens Suits. Commissioned by Artangel, 2009 Photo: Julian Abrams
I had meant to write a proper review of the exhibition of Charles LeDray, which is closing tomorrow at the Fire Station on Chiltern Street in London, but, unfortunately, have been unable to visit it in person. Organized by Artangel and titled "Mens Suits", it exhibited new work by the artist made specifically for the show. Known for the painstaking re-creation of scaled-down objects and particularly garments, Le Dray’s work brings to mind the uncanny quality of the miniature alongside the equally uncanny feeling caused by empty garments in an exhibition space, which inevitably point to the absent body.
Many of LeDray’s works also contain signs of wear, as he tatters the fabric of his miniature suits. This interest in the decaying and “deconstructed” garments is reminiscent of Margiela’s work, who also played with scale in his 1990s collections for which he enlarged Barbie dolls clothes.
In a lyrical essay James Lingwood wrote about the exhibition, he describes LeDray’s work:
“All the clothing, as well as their shabby settings, suggests other, unknown lives. The clothes feel like they have been worn, then discarded for some reason or other—disinterest, rejection or death. They have had a life, dressing some body. Everything is mixed up and sorted in a different way, ordinary clothes brought together by a common fate. Handed over or retrieved, they are prepared for somebody else, waiting for another life. They are between states, between places, between bodies.”
You can also view Sam Blair’s film Like a Memory: Perspectives on Mens Suits commissioned by Artangel in conjunction with the exhibition to gain a remote yet comprehensive view of the show