Skip to Main Content

Charles Gaines

American, b. 1944

14k followers

Charles Gaines

Bio

American, b. 1944

Followers
14k
Biography

In diverse and intellectually complex works, Charles Gaines explores the accidental, the tension between logical systems and the human hand, and the ways in which meaning is derived from art. Gaines cites John Cage as a major influence, and much of his work dwells on chance: Airplanecrash Clock (1997) is a kinetic sculpture in which a model plane repeatedly nose-dives to the ground, while text-and-photo pieces in “Absent Figures” (2000-01) record fatal mountaineering disasters on Mount Rainier in Washington. For Manifestos (2008), a collection of digital videos, musical compositions, and drawings, Gaines developed a system for translating excerpts from four revolutionary manifestos of the 20th century into musical scores, which play on speakers alongside the texts. Gaines is also interested in environmental degradation; Greenhouse (2007) is a sculptural enclosure whose lights and environmental conditions shift according to computer-generated readings of air pollution levels in California.

Related Categories
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Hammer Museum, and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 5 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 2 more
Biography

In diverse and intellectually complex works, Charles Gaines explores the accidental, the tension between logical systems and the human hand, and the ways in which meaning is derived from art. Gaines cites John Cage as a major influence, and much of his work dwells on chance: Airplanecrash Clock (1997) is a kinetic sculpture in which a model plane repeatedly nose-dives to the ground, while text-and-photo pieces in “Absent Figures” (2000-01) record fatal mountaineering disasters on Mount Rainier in Washington. For Manifestos (2008), a collection of digital videos, musical compositions, and drawings, Gaines developed a system for translating excerpts from four revolutionary manifestos of the 20th century into musical scores, which play on speakers alongside the texts. Gaines is also interested in environmental degradation; Greenhouse (2007) is a sculptural enclosure whose lights and environmental conditions shift according to computer-generated readings of air pollution levels in California.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Hammer Museum, and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 5 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 2 more
Articles Featuring Charles Gaines
What Sold at FIAC
Oct 21st, 2019
What Sold at FIAC
The Most Influential Living African American Artists
Feb 25th, 2019
The Most Influential Living African American Artists
If You Don’t Understand Conceptual Art, It’s Not Your Fault
Mar 31st, 2016
If You Don’t Understand Conceptual Art, It’s Not Your Fault
Okwui Enwezor’s Venice Biennale Is an Unpleasant Experience—And That’s a Good Thing
May 7th, 2015
Okwui Enwezor’s Venice Biennale Is an Unpleasant Experience—And That’s a Good Thing
Navigate right