Ray Smith

Mario Diacono Gallery

Ray Smith’s triptych “The Battle of the Tailors,” 1996, is an allegorical treatment of creating a painted object in what the painter views as a culture dominated by fashion. Subtitled “Model,” “Garment,” and “Measure,” each panel in the piece consists of three equally sized, horizontally arranged birchwood doors covered with collaged paper elements on grounds lushly painted in loud colors (magenta, lime green, and tangerine). Images of scissors and white thread figuratively cut and sew the wooden sections of each panel together. Straight stitching running around the three paintings and curvilinear stitching around the top and bottom of their central planks serve, both formally and symbolically, to bind the components of the work.

In The Battle of the Tailors (Model), the disembodied white hands of the “creator” grow like angel’s wings from the shoulders of a nude female model. His left hand

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the March 1997 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.