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Charles Gaines

Projects 107: Lone Wolf Recital Corps (group show)
Museum of Modern Art, New York
19 August - 9 October 2017

The Museum of Modern Art presents Projects 107: Lone Wolf Recital Corps. The Lone Wolf Recital Corps, a multidisciplinary performance collective founded in 1986 by artist and musician Terry Adkins (American, 1953–2014), has an accumulative, rotating membership of collaborators in various musical and visual arts disciplines. During Adkins’s lifetime the Corps performed within and in conjunction with Adkins’s exhibitions; described by Adkins as “recitals,” these performances incorporated spoken word, live music, video projection, and costumed, choreographed movement. For Adkins, these “installation based experiences [issued] from an ongoing quest to reinsert the legacies of unheralded immortal figures to their rightful place within the panorama of history.” The Lone Wolf Recital Corps’ performances, which Adkins orchestrated with the collaborative improvisation of the Corps, have commemorated and celebrated such figures as John Brown, John Coltrane, Matthew Henson, Bessie Smith, and others.

Projects 107 will be the first exhibition to reunite the Lone Wolf Recital Corps since Adkins’s death. Conceived as a series of live performances by the reconstituted Corps, a changing group of artists will reprise selections from the group’s repertoire in an installation of Adkins’ sculptures. The exhibition will be supplemented by documentary video of earlier recitals, as well as performance props, costumes, and ephemera that trace the history of the Corps.

Projects 107 will bring together an intergenerational roster of artists and musicians, including Sanford Biggers, Don Byron, Jean-Paul Bourelly, Vincent Chancey, Arthur Flowers, Charles Gaines, Tyehimba Jess, Rashid Johnson, Demetrius Oliver, Cavassa Nickens, Clifford Owens, Kamau Patton, Dread Scott, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Robert Wisdom, Tukufu Zuberi, and others.

Museum of Modern Art, New York


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Charles Gaines

ARTISTS TALK: A Conversation with L.A. Artists, Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Charles Gaines
The Broad Stage, Los Angeles
21 May 2018, 7:30pm

ARTISTS TALK: A Conversation with L.A. Artists is the second program in a series of talks with influential California-based artists, established to explore the living legacy of Los Angeles' vibrant contemporary art scene. The artists will speak to their work, process, histories and lives, addressing the significance and specificity of L.A. as a creative context for their work. The event joins these tangentially related though distinct voices for the first time in a public forum.

The Broad Stage, Los Angeles


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