JEN RAY VIRAGO
FEBRUARY 20 – MARCH 22, 2019
Opening Reception with the Artist
Wednesday, February 20, 6 – 8 PM
Exhibition Walkthrough with the Artist
Thursday, February 21, 11AM
SOCO Gallery is pleased to present Virago, an exhibition of new works by New York-based multi-disciplinary artist Jen Ray. The gallery will host a public opening reception with the artist on Wednesday, February 20 from 6 – 8PM, and an exhibition walkthrough with the artist on Thursday, February 21 at 11AM. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with SOCO Gallery.
Jen Ray creates paintings, performances, and sound works that celebrate female self-determination. Drawing inspiration and symbolism from a wide range of socio-political and cultural references, the artist challenges static or reverential perceptions of feminism and encourages ongoing discussions about gender, intersectionality, and identity.
The exhibition, Virago, describes an alternate universe occupied exclusively by women portrayed in ways that question accepted gender roles. A virago is a woman who demonstrates exemplary and heroic qualities, such as amazonian women or Joan of Arc. Conversely, a virago can also be used disparagingly to describe a violation of cultural norms. Ray has focused on this theme in her work for over 10 years: “I have created my own world of women and I created women who were my avatars in my work. It is as if women have landed in a blank world that they can create on their own terms.” Virago will include a video performance at the opening reception and will showcase multimedia work and works on paper through March 22, 2019.
Jen Ray (American, B. 1970)
Jen Ray, born in Raleigh, North Carolina, has lived and worked primarily in Berlin, Germany. Her work was shown in a solo exhibition at Kunstverein Kassel (2014), as well as the group ‘Walk the Line’ at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2015) and a performance at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2013). Her work has been exhibited in Paris, Zurich, the Netherlands, Denmark, and most recently in 2018 at the Van Every/Smith Galleries at Davidson College, North Carolina. Ray is a tenth generation Carolinian, and she currently lives and works in New York, New York.