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Charles Gaines

The Score (group show)
The Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, Melbourne
1 August - 5 November 2017

A musical score is a form of translation. It transcribes sound into drawing, by representing the aural complexities of pitch, rhythm and tempo as visual symbols.

The Score expands upon this spirit of transformation to ask, if music can be represented by notes on a staff, why not by colours? If a song can be performed by the voice, why not with silent hand gestures? And how would dance based upon the syllables of a poem, or music based upon the shape of a leaf manifest?

In this international group exhibition, scores and notation are considered as a starting point to explore the current cross-disciplinary trend in contemporary art, which has seen dance, music and vocal performance increasingly incorporated into visual artworks. The Score presents a range of contemporary and historical artworks that shift between one discipline to another. Musical notation becomes a visual metaphor for a moment of translation between forms – the point where creative leaps and conceptual shifts spark new possibilities.

Spanning all three floors of the Potter, the exhibition will include examples of music and dance notation, from Medieval manuscripts through to graphic notation of the 1960s, alongside artworks and performances.

A performance program will accompany the exhibition, including a presentation of US artist Charles Gaines’ chamber opera Sound Text, a vocal and music score derived from political manifestoes; and Michaela Gleave’s Galaxy of Suns, a 36-part choir performance based upon the location of the stars.

The Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, Melbourne


Additional:

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