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Charles Gaines

Premiere Artist Talk | Charles Gaines
Miami Beach Botanical Garden, Miami Beach
7 December 2017, 10 am

Courtesy of the artist
Courtesy of the artist

Held for the first time in the Botanical Garden’s Banyan Room, the Conversations program kicks off on Thursday, December 7 at 10am with the Premiere Artist Talk featuring Los Angeles-based conceptual artist Charles Gaines and Executive Director of the Equal and Justice Initiative Bryan Stevenson, in conversation with Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Programs of the California African American Museum Naima Keith. Gaines’ work combines philosophy, mathematics, grids, photography, and music to address politics, race, and the 'self-examination of our beliefs and ideologies.'

Art Basel


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Charles Gaines

Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection (group show)
Nasher Museum of Art, Durham
22 February – 15 July 2018

Charles Gaines, Numbers and Trees, Central Park, Series I, Tree #9, 2016. © Charles Gaines. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
Charles Gaines, Numbers and Trees, Central Park, Series I, Tree #9, 2016. © Charles Gaines. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York

The Nasher Museum presents a major nationwide touring exhibition that offers a new perspective on the critical contribution that artists of African descent have made to the evolution of abstract art from 1940s to the present. Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection is the first large-scale public exhibition to bring together a lineage of visionary black artists. The exhibition begins in the mid-20th century with Abstract Expressionist Norman Lewis and traces a line to some of today’s most celebrated artists, including Theaster Gates and Lorna Simpson, as well as Mark Bradford, who represents the United States at the Venice Biennale 2017.

Solidary & Solitary draws on the Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida Collection, which started in 1999 with a focus on abstract work by post-war and contemporary African-American artists, from 1945 to the present. In recent years, the collection’s focus has expanded to include artists from Africa and the global African diaspora.

Nasher Museum of Art, Durham


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