New Exhibition Highlights Graphics of Queer Artist Rex Ray

A new exhibition at the GLBT History Museum surveys the graphic work of internationally renowned San Francisco queer artist and designer Rex Ray (1956 - 2015).

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David Bowie Poster
Rex Ray. Poster for David Bowie at the Warfield Theatre (1997). Rex Ray Graphic Art Collection, archives of the GLBT Historical Society; gift of the estate of Rex Ray.
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«A Picture is a Word: The Posters of Rex Ray» features posters and book covers reflecting the Bay Area music scene and LGBTQ publishing from the 1990s to the 2010s.

Paul McCartney Poster
Rex Ray. Poster for Paul McCartney concert at Candlestick Park, San Francisco (2014). Rex Ray Graphic Art Collection, archives of the GLBT Historical Society; gift of the estate of Rex Ray.
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Curators Cydney Payton and Amy Scholder draw attention to Ray’s signature graphics, first developed using a Mac Plus in the 1990s long before design applications changed the course of artwork created using digital tools. The exhibition examines Ray’s use of repeating symbols and iconography appropriated from sources as varied as Andy Warhol, midcentury typography and design, gay culture and everyday objects.

«Vibrant and subversively accessible, Ray’s art effortlessly mixes high and low culture, beauty and post-modern conceptualism», the curators note. «The distinctive digital style Ray developed went on to influence the next generation of artists, their clients in music and publishing, and their audiences».

«A Picture is a Word: The Posters of Rex Ray» opens Friday, October 12, at the GLBT History Museum, 4127 18th St., San Francisco, with a public reception set for 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The curators will offer introductory remarks, and light refreshments will be served. Admission is $5.00; free for members of the GLBT Historical Society. Tickets are available online.

The exhibition runs through February 3, 2019. For more information, visit www.glbthistory.org.

David Bowie Poster
Rex Ray. Poster for David Bowie at the Warfield Theatre (1997). Rex Ray Graphic Art Collection, archives of the GLBT Historical Society; gift of the estate of Rex Ray.
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