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Gaylen Gerber

American, b. 1955

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Gaylen Gerber

American, b. 1955

Biography

Gaylen Gerber creates what he calls “backdrops” or “supports,” in effect producing paintings that serve as contextual grounds for another artist’s work. His artworks are typically large monochromatic canvases on wooden stretchers that mimic exhibition walls, often matching their color and size. The work critiques institutional settings and raises questions about authorship. The artist and curator Michelle Grabner wrote that Gerber’s work “has always confused the ‘seeing’ of visual images and the ‘evidence’ of visual images.” Gerber’s suggestion is that an artwork is not inherently meaningful, but that its meaning emerges from its relationship and placement in an environment. “There’s an unseen norm that structures the way that expression is constructed, and there’s the expressions that deviate from the norm that we find meaningful,” Gerber has said. “And so that’s the relationship I see in my work.”

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
User
Solo show at a major institution
MCA Chicago
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
documenta, and 1 more
Biography

Gaylen Gerber creates what he calls “backdrops” or “supports,” in effect producing paintings that serve as contextual grounds for another artist’s work. His artworks are typically large monochromatic canvases on wooden stretchers that mimic exhibition walls, often matching their color and size. The work critiques institutional settings and raises questions about authorship. The artist and curator Michelle Grabner wrote that Gerber’s work “has always confused the ‘seeing’ of visual images and the ‘evidence’ of visual images.” Gerber’s suggestion is that an artwork is not inherently meaningful, but that its meaning emerges from its relationship and placement in an environment. “There’s an unseen norm that structures the way that expression is constructed, and there’s the expressions that deviate from the norm that we find meaningful,” Gerber has said. “And so that’s the relationship I see in my work.”

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
User
Solo show at a major institution
MCA Chicago
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
documenta, and 1 more