beth_onusko-small.jpg Rex Ray: Art + Design is an exuberant survey of the artist’s career—from album covers and posters for R.E.M., The Cure, Beck, David Bowie, and the Flaming Lips, to paintings, mixed media collages, and prints. As Michael Paglia notes in one of the book’s excellent essays, “Ray’s work both in graphics and in the fine arts completely captures the times we live in. His pieces look both backward and forward; they’re decorative yet have a self-conscious conceptual framework; they’re alike yet different.” Ray’s playful explorations with color and shape present seemingly endless variations on a theme that is neither wholly abstract nor wholly retro, but a true hybrid, alive in the present, interested in beauty, evolving out of a visual language that seems familiar but on these pages feels startlingly new.

Bio: Elizabeth Onusko is Guernica’s assistant publisher. Read her last recommendation of the documentary Herb & Dorothy “here”:

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