Charles Gaines, Submerged Text: Signifiers of Race #11, 1993-2023. UV print on acrylic, paper, acrylic paint on wall. Installation dimensions variable. © Charles Gaines. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Zachary Balber.
ArtExhibitionsCharles Gaines: 1992–2023
Special-Engagement Exhibition

Charles Gaines: 1992–2023

October 30, 2024 - March 9, 2025 Located in Steele Gallery

A preeminent figure in conceptual art, Charles Gaines is widely known for converting images and text-based documents into numerical structures, musical notations, and other sign systems through rigorous translation mechanisms.

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ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

A preeminent figure in conceptual art, Charles is widely known for converting images and text-based documents into numerical structures, musical notations, and other sign systems through rigorous translation mechanisms. In 1992, Gaines’s practice underwent a pivotal shift when he began to replace non-descript images with critical theory frameworks, ranging from the writings of Franz Kafka and Frantz Fanon to the manifestos of the Black Panthers and the American Indian Movement. By doing so, Gaines has channeled decolonial discourses into complex formal and conceptual works, in addition to combining different media such as video and sound.

Charles Gaines, Faces 1: Identity Politics, #7, Dolores Huerta, 2018. Acrylic sheet, acrylic paint, lacquer, wood. Unique. 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, Faces 1: Identity Politics, #7, Dolores Huerta, 2018. Acrylic sheet, acrylic paint, lacquer, wood. Unique. 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.

Organized by the ICA Miami, Charles Gaines: 1992-2023 features a selection of works from series that Gaines has worked on since 1992 to demonstrate the evolution of his approach to transforming images, texts, and diverse materials into a distinct visual language. The survey also features a number of monumental works. Greenhouse (2003–2023) is a massive 12 x 16-foot sculptural enclosure that contains three stainless steel trees at the center. These trees become enveloped with smoke as adjacent monitors track historical and real-time temperature patterns of global warming. The work represents a poignant meditation on the global climate crisis that has persisted from the 18th century to the present. The exhibition also features the sculptural installation Falling Rock (2000–2023), in which a 65-lb piece of granite drops at randomized intervals, leaving viewers in suspense of the work’s outcome.

Charles Gaines: 1992-2023 is presented in conjunction with the debut of the complete series of Gaines’ most recent body of work, Numbers and Trees: Arizona Trees 1, 2023, presented in the Museum’s Cummings Great Hall.

Charles Gaines, Manifestos 5, 2023. Three-channel video (color, sound, 5 minutes 24 seconds). One graphite drawing on paper, three monitors, two speakers, two hanging speaker shelves. Unique. Installation dimensions variable. © Charles Gaines. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Zachary Balber.

Charles Gaines, Manifestos 5, 2023. Three-channel video (color, sound, 5 minutes 24 seconds). One graphite drawing on paper, three monitors, two speakers, two hanging speaker shelves. Unique. Installation dimensions variable. © Charles Gaines. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Zachary Balber.
Header: Charles Gaines, Submerged Text: Signifiers of Race #11, 1993-2023. UV print on acrylic, paper, acrylic paint on wall. Installation dimensions variable. © Charles Gaines. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Zachary Balber

EXHIBITION SPONSORS

Charles Gaines: 1992–2023 is organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, and curated by Gean Moreno, Director of ICA Miami’s Knight Foundation Art + Research Center. Major support is provided by Hauser & Wirth, the Nicoll Family Fund, and The Steven and Kathy Guttman Family Foundation. Additional support is provided by Funding Arts Network and by the State of Florida through the Division of Arts and Culture. Thanks to ICA Miami’s Leadership Partner Cartier for their support of this exhibition.

The presentation of Charles Gaines: 1992–2023 at Phoenix Art Museum is coordinated by Olga Viso, the Selig Family Chief Curator of Phoenix Art Museum. It is made possible through the generosity of Men’s Arts Council, Ellen and Howard Katz, and Jane and Mal Jozoff. Generous support provided by Hauser & Wirth. All exhibitions at Phoenix Art Museum are underwritten by the Phoenix Art Museum Exhibition Excellence Fund, founded by The Opatrny Family Foundation with additional major support provided by Joan Cremin.

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