Charles Gaines

BAM Lecturer

Charles Gaines

A pivotal figure in the field of conceptual art, Charles Gaines has long employed a generative process to create series of works in a variety of mediums. By creating space between a specific symbol and the systems applied to its representation through measurable values of color, Gaines's distinctive approach forges a critical link between first generation American conceptualists and subsequent generations of artists who are pushing the limits of conceptualism today.  

Charles Gaines lives and works in Los Angeles, where he has been a member of the California Institute of Arts faculty since 1989. Gaines' work is currently the subject of two solo exhibitions at Dia Beacon and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Other notable exhibitions include a mid-career survey at the Pomona College Museum of Art and the Pitzer College Art Gallery in Claremont CA, as well as a museum survey of his Gridwork at The Studio Museum, Harlem NY, and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles CA. His work has also been presented at the 1975 Whitney Biennial and the Venice Biennale in 2007 and 2015. In addition to his artistic practice, Gaines has published several essays on contemporary art, including 'Theater of Refusal: Black Art and Mainstream Criticism' (University of California, Irvine, 1993) and 'The New Cosmopolitanism' (California State University, Fullerton, 2008). In 2019, Gaines received the 60th Edward MacDowell Medal.  

© Charles Gaines. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Fredrik Nilsen.