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Institute of Contemporary Art Miami

Charles Gaines (b. 1944)
Greenhouse
2003-2007
Mixed Media, electronics, photography
Installation dimensions variable
© Charles Gaines
Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Charles Gaines (b. 1944) Greenhouse 2003-2007 Mixed Media, electronics, photography Installation dimensions variable © Charles Gaines Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Charles Gaines: 1992-2022

Dec 1, 2023 – Apr 30, 2024
Charles Gaines: 1992-2022

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, surveys the work of American artist Charles Gaines from 1992 to the present, tracing the complex interrelation of formal innovation, conceptual rigor and political content that has characterized the second half of the artist’s career.

A preeminent figure in conceptual art, Gaines has been at the forefront of introducing language and systems into artistic production. His early work, starting in the early 1970s, sought to translate information across media employing finely-tuned translating mechanisms. These works often employed deadpan imagery that was systematically converted into numerical and other sign systems. In 1992, Gaines began to replace non-descript images with texts and figures rich with preexisting cultural meaning. These new materials ranged from the texts by Franz Kafka and Frantz Fanon to the manifestoes of the Black Panthers and American Indian Movement, channeling their radical politics into complex formal and conceptual works. He also began to combine different media, including video and sound, in his works.

“Charles Gaines: 1992-2022” features a significant selection of works from all the series that Gaines has worked on since 1992, including “Submerged Texts” (1992); “NIGHT/CRIMES” (1995); “History of Stars” (2007); “Exploded Drawings” (2008); “Rewriting Fanon” (2010); “Notes on Social Justice” (2013); “Librettos: Manuel de Falla/Stokley Carmichael” (2015-6); “Identity Politics” (2018); and “Trees and Numbers” (2019-2022). Alongside works from these series, the exhibition will include a number of stand-alone works, including Airplane Crash Clock (1997-2007), Falling Rock (2000), Greenhouse (2003-2007), Black Panther (2008), Manifesto 1 (2008), Skybox (2011), Manifesto 2 (2013), Manifesto 3 (2018), and Manifesto 4 (2020).

The deeply complex and meticulous work of Charles Gaines (b., 1944, Charleston, South Carolina) has been included in significant exhibitions, including a survey of his early work, “Charles Gaines: Gridwork 1974-1989,” organized by The Studio museum of Harlem. Most recently, his work has been presented in solo exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and DIA Beacon. It has also been included in group exhibitions at The Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), New Museum (New York), Getty Center (Los Angeles), Para Site (Hong Kong), Fondation Cartier (Paris), Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), Villa Medici (Rome), among many other institutions. Recent forays into public art include his recently unveiled Moving Chains, a monumental kinetic sculpture sited on Governor’s Island in Manhattan.

“Charles Gaines: 1992-2022” is curated by Gean Moreno, Director of the institution’s Art + Research Center.

Charles Gaines (b. 1944) Falling Rock 2000
Charles Gaines (b. 1944) Falling Rock 2000 Wood, electronics, metal, acrylic, granite, glass, electric motors, gears, pulleys, Duration: 15:00 min (loop) © Charles Gaines Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Joshua White
Charles Gaines (b. 1944) Greenhouse
Charles Gaines (b. 1944) Greenhouse 2003-2007 Mixed Media, electronics, photography Installation dimensions variable © Charles Gaines Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Charles Gaines (b. 1944) Faces 1: Identity Politics, #10, Edward Said 2018
Charles Gaines (b. 1944) Faces 1: Identity Politics, #10, Edward Said 2018 Acrylic sheet, acrylic paint, lacquer, wood 188.3 x 150.5 x 14.6 cm / 74 1/8 x 59 1/4 x 5 3/4 inches © Charles Gaines Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Thomas Barratt
Charles Gaines (b. 1944) Manifestos 2 2013
Charles Gaines (b. 1944) Manifestos 2 2013 Four-channel video, color, sound, Duration: 64:00 min, four monitors, four pedestals, two speakers, hanging speaker shelves, graphite on paper, 4 sheets Installation dimensions variable Museum of Modern Art, New York NY © Charles Gaines Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Charles Gaines (b. 1944) Night/Crimes: Perseus 1994
Charles Gaines (b. 1944) Night/Crimes: Perseus 1994 Photographs, silkscreened text on acrylic 186.1 x 94.6 cm / 73 1/4 x 37 1/4 inches (framed) © Charles Gaines Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Fredrik Nilsen
Charles Gaines (b. 1944) Numbers and Trees: Palm Canyon, Palm Trees Series 2, Tree #9, Kawaiisu 2019
Charles Gaines (b. 1944) Numbers and Trees: Palm Canyon, Palm Trees Series 2, Tree #9, Kawaiisu 2019 Acrylic sheet, acrylic paint, photograph, 2 parts Overall: 368.3 x 162.6 x 14.6 cm / 145 x 64 x 5 3/4 inches Hammer Museum, Los Angeles CA © Charles Gaines Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Fredrik Nilsen
Charles Gaines (b. 1944) String Theory: Rewriting Fanon #1 2010
Charles Gaines (b. 1944) String Theory: Rewriting Fanon #1 2010 Graphite on paper 50.8 x 166.4 cm / 20 x 65 1/2 inches 61.6 x 181.6 cm / 24 1/4 x 71 1/2 inches (framed) © Charles Gaines Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Fredrik Nilsen