The works exhibited in Joe Ray: I Can Hear The Scream were completed in 1993, after the LA Riots that were sparked by the acquittal of four Los Angeles Police Department officers on charges of assault and excessive force against Rodney King. Several of these paintings and sculptures were featured in Prospect.3: Notes for Now (Curated by Franklin Sirmans), 2014, but not exhibited as a complete group since 1993. Joe Ray’s assemblage-paintings probe issues of identity and racial justice. In Blue Spade, 1993, he shatters the term “spade” as a racist epithet by demonstrating its fluidity and arbitrary nature—that is, by defamiliarizing it, as Betye Saar and David Hammons have also done. While the visually appealing works undermine negative stereotypes, they simultaneously, via gestures to Africa (textiles and masks) and to America (the flag), explore ideas about African American belonging.
Heather Day makes abstract paintings comprised of scraped, smeared, and flooded pools of pigment. The compulsive energy of her work oscillates between rehearsed abandon and careful restraint. She studies the mechanisms of sensory perception — mining what happens when the body interprets a sound as a texture, or a scent as a color. Shown here, Red Hook, 2020, was created immediately after her residency at Vermont Studio Center, back in her San Francisco studio.
Joe Ray (US b. 1944) was born in Alexandria, Louisiana, and arrived in Los Angeles in 1963. After he returned from Viet Nam, he first showed his artwork in the 1969 4th Annual Watts Summer Festival Art Exhibition; and in 1973 received his BA from Cal Arts where he was mentored by John Baldessari and Nam June Paik. Joe Ray was one of only 15 members of the original MOCA Artists Advisory Council from 1978-1980. His work is in the permanent collection of LACMA, where he was included in Made In California: Art, Image and Identity (1900 - 2000). His work was included in L.A. Object & David Hammons Body Prints (2007) at Tilton Gallery (NY) and Roberts & Tilton (LA). Joe Ray received a 50-year survey, Complexion Constellation, at Diane Rosenstein Gallery in 2017. He lives and works in Los Angeles.
Heather Day (USA, b. 1989) has presented a solo exhibition at Fort Wayne Museum of Art (FWMOA), Indiana (2020) and her solo show at Diane Rosenstein Gallery is forthcoming this Fall, 2020. She received her BFA from The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). She recently was artist-in-residence at The Vermont Studio Center (2019) and The Macedonia Institute (2018). Day has collaborated with Google, creating virtual and augmented reality works that bridge the gap between art and technology. The artist lives and works in San Francisco.