Tag Archives: Gary Simmons

CHARLES GAINES IN CONVERSATION

When I went to graduate school in the 1960s… I was faced with a dilemma… I was surrounded by ideas about art that I couldn’t identify with. I couldn’t identify with the practice of trying to decide what to put in a painting using a kind of intuition. Or looking at a painting as a vehicle for self-expression. It’s not that I looked down on that, or that I thought it was such a bad idea. It’s just that I wasn’t working in a manner that required that kind of behavior… Then I ran into a person who told me about a couple of books, which I bought and read. One was by the art historian Henri Focillon [1881–1943], called The Life of Forms in Art [1934]. The other was a big picture book on Tantric Buddhist art by Ajit Mookerjee [1915–1990]. In those books I began to find things that made sense to me in terms of art production.

[Focillon] had a Platonic perspective, that form was synonymous with number, with mathematics, with structure. And he said that form had a life of its own, had its own reciprocal fitness, had its own autonomous exigency..

This sounds like the tenets of high modernism. I don’t think it followed those tenets in talking about some kind of tautology or self-referential or self-reflexive apparatus. I saw it as a general critique of expressionism, which was central to my problem. I didn’t feel connected with the objects I was making, because when I made them, I wasn’t convinced that there was any connection between my motive to make something and the thing that I made. It just seemed arbitrary to me. I would see painters laboring in front of a painting, trying to decide whether a corner should be red or blue. To me it didn’t make any difference. It could be red or blue, you know? How can they feel good about a judgment that they make? On what basis do they establish this connection? And for the life of me, I couldn’t figure it out.

Focillon gave me the idea that you’re ultimately not the author of the object. You’re more like a vehicle of this realization without an author. With Tantric art I saw visual representation of the same idea.Charles Gaines*

This weekend—in conjunction with his Hauser & Wirth exhibition CHARLES GAINES—PALM TREES AND OTHER WORKS—join Gaines in conversation with Thelma Golden, Laura Owens, and Gary Simmons.

ARTIST TALK—CHARLES GAINES IN CONVERSATION with THELMA GOLDEN, LAURA OWENS, and GARY SIMMONS

Sunday, November 3, at 3 pm.

Hauser & Wirth

901 East 3rd Street, downtown Los Angeles.

“Charles Gaines, January 31, 1995,” in ArtCenter Talks: Graduate Seminar, The First Decade 1986–1995, edited by Stan Douglas (New York: David Zwirner Books / Pasadena, CA: ArtCenter Graduate Press, 2016), 172–197.

See Gina Osterloh on Gaines’ Shadows series.

Charles Gaines—Palm Trees and Other Works, Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles, September 14, 2019–January 5, 2020, photographs by Fredrik Nilsen. Images courtesy and © the artist, the photographer, and Hauser & Wirth.

OKWUI ENWEZOR

“We knew it was coming but the finality of his passing makes it even more devastating. Okwui was this enormously prophetic figure, wise beyond his years, whose insights—vision, if you will—literally shaped the universe many of us now inhabit. He was like an enormous tree in the glare, whose shadow provided refuge, hospitality, generosity, and love for so many.” — John Akomfrah

Okwui Enwezor—the great historian, curator, writer, editor, and former artistic director of Haus der Kunst—has died in Munich following four years of cancer treatment.

Enwezor, who was 55 at the time of his death, is celebrated for his paradigm-shifting directorship of Documenta 11 in 2002, and the 56th Venice BiennaleAll the World’s Futures—in 2015.

A writer and editor in demand, Enwezor’s contributions will live on in the work of the artists he championed.

From top: Contemporary African Art Since 1980 (2009), by Okwui Enwezor and Chika Okeke-Agulu, image courtesy Damiani; John Akomfrah: Signs of Empire (2018), contributing text by Enwezor, image courtesy the New Museum; Candice Breitz: The Scripted Life (2010), contributing text by Enwezor, image courtesy Kunsthaus Bregenz; Recent Histories: Contemporary African Photography and Video Art from the Walther Collection (2017), contributing text by Enwezor, image courtesy Steidl and the Walther Collection; Gary Simmons: Paradise (2012), conversation with Enwezor, image courtesy Damiani; Kerry James Marshall: Painting and Other Stuff (2014), contributing text by Enwezor, image courtesy Ludion; Lyle Ashton Harris: Excessive Exposure (2010), text by Enwezor, image courtesy Gregory R. Miller & Co.; Home Lands–Land Marks: Contemporary Art from South Africa (2009), contributing text by Enwezor, image courtesy Haunch of Venison.

FOR JACK WHITTEN

In a tribute to Jack Whitten, a group of his friends and colleagues, artists and curators—including Candida Alvarez, Jose Luis Blondet, Joshua Chambers Letson, Erin Christovale, Harry Dodge, Naima Keith, Diana Nawi, Betye Saar, Gary Simmons, Lily Blue Simmons, Bennett Simpson, and Alphaeus Taylor—will read from NOTES FROM THE WOODSHED, the just-published collection of Whitten’s writing.

 

JACK WHITTEN—NOTES FROM THE WOODSHED Reading and Launch

Saturday, August 25, at 3 pm.

hauserwirth.com/jack-whitten-notes-woodshed

hauserwirth.com/publications/jack-whitten

JACK WHITTEN—SELF PORTRAIT WITH SATELLITES, through September 23.

HAUSER & WIRTH, 901 East 3rd Street, downtown Los Angeles.

hauserwirth.com/jack-whitten-self-portrait-satellites

Above image courtesy of Hauser & Wirth.

Below: Jack Whitten in the early 1970s on the corner of Broadway and Broome Street, New York City. Courtesy the Estate of Jack Whitten.

ANY PLACE BUT HERE

ANY PLACE BUT HERE—a site-specific performance at the California African American Museum by No)one Art House, conceived by Christopher Bordenave and Amie Cota—”explores themes of home and identity as reflected through the Great Migration—a 60-year span during which nearly 6 million African Americans moved from the South to cities in the North and West.”*

 

ANY PLACE BUT HERE—NO)ONE ART HOUSE

Tuesday, December 19, at 7 pm.

California African American Museum

600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles.

Image credit: No)one Art House.

THE ’90S AT REGEN PROJECTS

Regen Projects’ Spring 2017 show is an extraordinary survey of art from the 1990s.

WHAT I LOVED: SELECTED WORKS FROM THE ’90S includes Catherine Opie’s Vaginal Davis and Justin Bond; Glenn Ligon’s Untitled (I Remember the Very Day); Lari Pittman’s Existential and Needy; Karen Kilimnik’s Actresses sisters as murderers; erotic work from Wolfgang Tillmans, Marilyn Minter, and Cindy Sherman; Elizabeth Peyton’s Stephen Malkmus; Jack Pierson’s large collage tribute to ’50s iconography, Self Portrait (James Dean); Mike Kelley’s Party Girl; wall texts by Kara Walker and Lawrence Weiner; and an extensive series of drawings by Raymond Pettibon. Sixty works by 27 artists are on view.

WHAT I LOVED: SELECTED WORKS FROM THE ’90S, through April 13, 2017.

REGEN PROJECTS, Los Angeles

regenprojects.com/exhibitions/what-i-loved-selected-works-from-the-90s

Glenn Ligon, Runaways [detail] 1993 Suite of 10 lithographs 16 x 12 inches each Courtesy Regen Projects Los Angeles

Glenn Ligon, Runaways [detail]1993
Suite of 10 lithographs
16 x 12 inches each
Courtesy Regen Projects Los Angeles