In Memoriam: Rex Ray (1956-2015)


Rex Ray passed away on 9 February 2015 after a 5-year battle with lymphoma. Ray was one of those rare breeds who was as successful as a graphic artist as he was as a fine artist. He made album art and posters for such luminaries as The Rolling Stones, Radiohead, David Bowie, and REM. And he maintained a studio practice that included photography, painting, and collage. “His exuberant canvases were so singularly his, made with a collage technique developed through trial and error over decades of constant work with the goal of describing his own particular sense of beauty,” said long-time friend and gallerist Griff Williams. “He invented a way of working as an artist that was singularly his own. How many of us can say that?” Ray combined sharp shapes, clean lines, a brilliant palette, and gorgeous patterns into psychedelic compositions. His work is represented by Gallery 16 in San Francisco, California and Conduit Gallery in Dallas, Texas. It is also included in a number of permanent collections, most notably at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Jose Museum of Art, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Berkeley Art Museum. His 2005 collage painting Cyphellae is on view through 3 May 2015 at the Akron Art Museum as part of the McNay Art Museum-organized exhibition “Beauty Reigns: A Baroque Sensibility in Recent Painting.”

This News and Notes item originally appeared in Issue Twelve. To see other News and Notes from the world of collage, SUBSCRIBE to Kolaj or PURCHASE ISSUE TWELVE.

by Rex Ray
oil, acrylic, and mixed media on linen
Courtesy of Gallery 16, San Francisco