Ray studied sculpture at the University of Iowa, school of Art and Art History where he was exposed to many of the developments of modernist sculpture, in particular the constructivist aesthetic of contemporary artists. Over the past 30-plus years, Charles Ray has produced successive bodies of sculpture that superficially appear quite different from one another. There have been works performed for the camera that employed the artist's own body as a sculptural element. There have been conceptual variations on minimalist forms. For more than five years now, Charles Ray has been making sculptures based closely on the human figure. Ray's retrospective illustrates the shifting idea of conceptual art. Even when his art relies on the object's uniqueness, its physical nature becomes a shorthand for multiple hypotheses, changing movements, and distinct leaps of the imagination. He is known for his strange and enigmatic sculptures that draw the viewer’s perceptual judgments into question in jarring and unexpected ways. Ray fixates on how and why things happen, to say nothing of wondering what really does happen in the field of vision, and how such events might be remade as art.” This and the level of art historical awareness behind his works has led many critics to call Ray a sculptor’s sculptor. Nevertheless, his art has managed to find a large audience, thanks in part to its often striking or beguiling nature.