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Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore

New York

November 4 – December 18, 2021

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore
Installation view
Alexander Gray Associates, NY (2021)

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore
Installation view
Alexander Gray Associates, NY (2021)

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore
Installation view
Alexander Gray Associates, NY (2021)

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore
Installation view
Alexander Gray Associates, NY (2021)

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore
Installation view
Alexander Gray Associates, NY (2021)

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore
Installation view
Alexander Gray Associates, NY (2021)

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore
Installation view
Alexander Gray Associates, NY (2021)

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore
Installation view
Alexander Gray Associates, NY (2021)

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore
Installation view
Alexander Gray Associates, NY (2021)

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore
Installation view
Alexander Gray Associates, NY (2021)

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore
Installation view
Alexander Gray Associates, NY (2021)

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore
Installation view
Alexander Gray Associates, NY (2021)

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore
Installation view
Alexander Gray Associates, NY (2021)

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore

Ricardo Brey: Blue Shore
Installation view
Alexander Gray Associates, NY (2021)

Ricardo Brey, Sheep Laurel, 2021

Ricardo Brey

Sheep Laurel, 2021

Mixed media on paper

26 x 19 3/4 in (66 x 50.2 cm)

29 3/4 x 23 1/2 x 2 in framed (75.6 x 59.7 x 5.1 cm framed)

Ricardo Brey, Acanthus, 2021

Ricardo Brey

Acanthus, 2021

Mixed media on paper

26 x 19 3/4 in (66 x 50.2 cm)

29 3/4 x 23 1/2 x 2 in framed (75.6 x 59.7 x 5.1 cm framed)

Ricardo Brey, Trumpet Roots, 2021

Ricardo Brey

Trumpet Roots, 2021

Gouache and pencil on paper

26 x 19 3/4 in (66 x 50.2 cm)

29 3/4 x 23 1/2 x 2 in framed (75.6 x 59.7 x 5.1 cm framed)

Ricardo Brey, Blues Harp, 2021

Ricardo Brey

Blues Harp, 2021

Plaster cast, harmonica, and silver chain

Dimensions variable

Ricardo Brey, Interrupted Fern, 2021

Ricardo Brey

Interrupted Fern, 2021

Mixed media on paper

19 3/8 x 26 in (49.2 x 66 cm)

23 1/2 x 29 3/4 x 2 in framed (59.7 x 75.6 x 5.1 cm framed)

Ricardo Brey, Osain, 2012–2021

Ricardo Brey

Osain, 2012–2021

Mixed media

12 1/4 x 8 1/2 x 23 1/4 in (31 x 21.5 x 59 cm)

Ricardo Brey, Black Kouros, 2012–2021

Ricardo Brey

Black Kouros, 2012–2021

Mixed media

29 1/8 x 7 7/8 x 29 1/8 in (74 x 20 x 74 cm)

Ricardo Brey, Blue Shade, 2019

Ricardo Brey

Blue Shade, 2019

Mixed media on paper

47 1/2 x 63 in (120.7 x 160 cm)

52 1/4 x 67 1/4 x 2 in framed (132.7 x 170.7 x 5.1 cm framed)

(RBR209)

Ricardo Brey, Cinnamon Fern, 2021

Ricardo Brey

Cinnamon Fern, 2021

Mixed media on paper

63 x 47 1/4 x 3/4 in (160 x 120 x 2 cm)

67 1/4 x 52 1/4 x 2 1/2 in framed (170.7 x 132.7 x 6.3 cm framed)

Ricardo Brey, Blue Curse, 2019

Ricardo Brey

Blue Curse, 2019

Mixed media on paper

63 x 48 in (160 x 121.9 cm)

67 1/4 x 52 x 2 in framed (170.7 x 132.1 x 5.1 cm framed)

Ricardo Brey, Foggy, 2020

Ricardo Brey

Foggy, 2020

Mixed media on paper

63 x 48 in (160 x 121.9 cm)

67 1/4 x 52 1/4 x 2 in framed (170.7 x 132.7 x 5.1 cm framed)

Ricardo Brey, Three Branches of Red Cedar, 2021

Ricardo Brey

Three Branches of Red Cedar, 2021

Mixed media on paper

27 3/4 x 39 1/4 in (70.5 x 99.7 cm)

31 5/8 x 43 1/8 x 2 in framed (80.3 x 109.5 x 5.1 cm framed)

Ricardo Brey, Unsettling, 2019–2020

Ricardo Brey

Unsettling, 2019–2020

Mixed media

Dimensions variable

Ricardo Brey, Just Right, 2020

Ricardo Brey

Just Right, 2020

Mixed media

Dimensions variable

Ricardo Brey, Maidenhair, 2021

Ricardo Brey

Maidenhair, 2021

Mixed media on paper

22 x 30 in (55.9 x 76.2 cm)

26 1/4 x 33 3/4 x 2 in framed (66.7 x 85.7 x 5.1 cm framed)

Ricardo Brey, Pasiflora, 2021

Ricardo Brey

Pasiflora, 2021

Mixed media on paper

22 1/2 x 30 in (57.1 x 76.2 cm)

26 1/4 x 33 3/4 x 2 in framed (66.7 x 85.7 x 5.1 cm framed)

Ricardo Brey, Parisian blue, 2021

Ricardo Brey

Parisian blue, 2021

Mixed media on paper

22 1/2 x 30 in (57.1 x 76.2 cm)

26 1/4 x 33 3/4 x 2 in framed (66.7 x 85.7 x 5.1 cm framed)

Ricardo Brey, Ciprés, 2021

Ricardo Brey

Ciprés, 2021

Mixed media on paper

27 3/4 x 39 1/4 in (70.5 x 99.7 cm)

31 5/8 x 43 1/8 x 2 in framed (80.3 x 109.5 x 5.1 cm framed)

Ricardo Brey, Gaze, 2021

Ricardo Brey

Gaze, 2021

Mixed media on paper

39 1/4 x 27 3/4 in (99.7 x 70.5 cm)

43 1/8 x 31 5/8 x 2 in framed (109.5 x 80.3 x 5.1 cm framed)

Press Release

Alexander Gray Associates presents Blue Shore, the Gallery’s second one-person exhibition of work by Ricardo Brey (b.1955, Cuba). Since the late 1970s, Brey’s practice has examined the origins and nature of humankind’s space in the world. Working across drawing, sculpture, and installation, Brey is concerned with exploring philosophical concepts like time, mythology, human expression, and the natural universe. 

Blue Shore is a presentation of works made during the global Covid-19 pandemic. Unable to leave his home and studio in Ghent, Belgium, Brey turned to the color blue, which he associated with the sky and the sea, symbols of an unattainable expansiveness and freedom. In his works from this period, Brey adopts an almost exclusively blue palette, a significant departure from the earth-colored ochres and rusty reds of previous works on paper. Just as the artist moves fluidly across various mediums, so do variegated blues wind through his two and three dimensional works. The works on paper in Blue Shore reflect Brey’s rigorous engagement with a wide range of media––including found objects, silverpoint, gouache, and ink––as well as his range with scale, from delicate drawings to massive, saturated works on paper.

Throughout his career Brey has often worked on a single theme across various mediums. Here, a panoply of blues emerges not only on wall-hung works, but in sculptures and Brey’s unique Boxes. In Cielo (2021), Brey deconstructs practices that humans have developed to understand the heavens. Inside the Box rests a large dark cast of a tortoise’s shell with stars affixed to its underside. By resting the deconstructed pieces of an orrery within the tortoise shell, Brey not only forms a physical representation of the heavens, but also creates a multitude of thematic contrasts between Western and Eastern cosmologies, science and nature, and ancient and modern forms of thought.

Similarly, working blues into his earlier series of uncanny, classically inflected Kouros sculpture series gives the works a new dynamism and distinct emotional register. The kouroi of antiquity were free-standing sculptures of nude male youths that began to appear in the Archaic period in Greece. Brey’s kouroi often consist of a bird’s skull formed from wood and clay mounted on a metal rod along with carefully arranged found elements. Osain (2021) gets its name from a Santería divinity, or orisha, associated with herbs and healing. 

The blending of cultural iconographies achieved via a rigorous chromatic, formal, and conceptual engagement is emblematic of Brey’s artistic ethos. Refuting reductive binarisms, Brey’s art surmounts divisions between myths, religions, and systems of thought and value to champion a holistic approach to understanding the human condition.

Ricardo Brey’s work is featured in numerous private and public collections, including the Bouwfonds Art Collection, The Hague, the Netherlands; Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, Havana, Cuba; CERA Art Collection, Leuven, Belgium; Collection of Pieter and Marieke Sanders, Haarlem, the Netherlands; Collection de la Province de Hainaut, Belgium; de la Cruz Collection, Miami, FL; Fonds national d’art contemporain (FNAC), France; Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection, Miami, FL; Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany; Louis-Dreyfus Family Collection, Mount Kisco, New York; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana, Havana, Cuba; Museum de Domijnen, Sittard, the Netherlands; Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen (M HKA), Antwerp, Belgium; Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, FL; Province of East Flanders Monuments and Cultural Heritage, Belgium; Sindika Dokolo Foundation, Luanda, Angola; Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (SMAK), Ghent, Belgium; Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum, Aachen, Germany; Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan; and others.