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Charles Gaines

Pivotal: Highlights from the Collection (group show)
Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach
7 October - 31 December 2017

Charles Gaines, Numbers And Trees X #4, Red Violet January, 1991. Courtesy the artist and Orange County Museum of Art
Charles Gaines, Numbers And Trees X #4, Red Violet January, 1991. Courtesy the artist and Orange County Museum of Art

OCMA has always championed artistic experimentation and innovation through a commitment to showing and collecting the work of dynamic and groundbreaking emerging artists. This installation will reveal how impactful and prescient OCMA has been in supporting the careers of some of the most influential artists from this region at pivotal moments in their careers.

Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach


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Charles Gaines

Numbers and Trees IV, #2 Xeno (orange) (site-specific installation)
ICA Miami, Miami
1 December 2017 - 4 November 2018

Charles Gaines, Numbers and Trees IV, #2 Xeno (orange), detail, 2017 © ICA Miami, Charles Gaines
Charles Gaines, Numbers and Trees IV, #2 Xeno (orange), detail, 2017 © ICA Miami, Charles Gaines

Charles Gaines’s multi-panel installation activates ICA Miami’s central stairwell, and explores the artist’s approach to seriality through a unique vertical composition.

The artist’s practice places him within the legacy of Conceptualism, evidenced by works such as his gridded, serial images of trees painted on plexiglass that successively plot the shape of trees on one another. Since the 1970s, he has used self-determined rules in order to translate photographic information; he has said: “I use systems in order to provoke the issues around representation.” Here, photographs of trees are translated in various forms of colorful abstraction.

Gaines’s strict method of presenting his works is notably inspired by early Conceptual practices, but he doesn’t utilize the formal rules or use of language and pictures in the same way that artists such as Joseph Kosuth would. What he intends to lay bare is the arbitrariness and dependence on context of all processes of significance. In simpler terms, in the artist’s view, content, meaning, and emotions do not develop naturally, nor are they universal.

ICA Miami, Miami