Search
K_O20191219_HW_Gaines_149

Charles Gaines Drawings

Opens on Saturday 15 February, 6 – 8 pm 16 Feb – 29 Mar 2020

About

A focused exhibition of work by celebrated conceptual artist Charles Gaines opens in St. Moritz, marking the first presentation in Europe dedicated to Gaines’s drawing practice from the historic Numbers and Trees series. The exhibition displays two distinct bodies of work executed over the last five years. The first floor presents meticulously rendered ink drawings from the celebrated Central Park Series, which can be seen as precursors (or ‘templates’) for Gaines’s renowned larger scale, Plexiglas works. Employing a rule-based numeric system to create soft, numbered markson a hand-drawn grid, each drawing isolates the individual trees that eventually comprise the completed series. The second floor honours 24 vibrant new watercolors of assorted trees. The exhibition allows for an unprecedented insight into his practice and an intimate look into his systems and processes.

A pivotal figure in the field of conceptual art, 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 like Sol LeWitt and subsequent generations of artists, including Gaines’s students Edgar Arcenaux, Andrea Bowers, Mark Bradford, and Sam Durant, among others who are pushing the limits of conceptualism today. Speaking about his longstanding commitment to unveiling the paradoxes of human visual understanding, Gaines said, ‘The system has never changed, but the outcome is always different.’

Images of trees have recurred time and again in Gaines’s practice since the mid-1970s when he first began charting their varying forms through a system of numbered grids in the series Walnut Tree Orchard (1975 – 2014). His methodical examination continues in the Numbers and Trees series, which began in 1987. In his large-scale Plexiglas works, Gaines selectively layers paint on acrylic sheets atop black and white photographs of corresponding landscapes with trees. Following this process, each tree is assigned a distinctive color and a numbered grid that reflects the positive space of the tree in the original photographic image.

In St. Moritz, the works in the exhibition are rendered on individual sheets of paper and demonstrate the essence of the numerical systems that are at the heart of his practice. Instead of collapsing multiple trees onto a single plane, each sheet features a single tree meticulously composed of tiny painted cells–an artistic codex in and of themselves. Viewed as stand-alone works, each piece unfolds the multitude of layers that comprise the larger pieces in his oeuvre.

Read more  +

Selected Images

Numbers and Trees: Drawing 37

1 of 5

Installation Views

HWSTM_200215_0078

Publications

About the Artist

20180420_C-Gaines_PTR_007

A pivotal figure in the field of Conceptual Art, Charles Gaines’ body of work engages formulas and systems that interrogate relationships between the objective and the subjective realms. Using a generative approach to create series of works in a variety of mediums, he has built a bridge between the early conceptual artists...

Stories

Current Exhibitions

1976 LB Photographing Iceberg Washington University-RGB

20 Feb – 11 Apr 2020

New York, 22nd Street

Opening 20 February 2020, Hauser & Wirth’s exhibition ‘Larry Bell. Still Standing,’ presents a range of the...

ACKER101828 - Mama Painting for Mars

20 Feb – 11 Apr 2020

New York, 22nd Street

Beginning 20 February, Hauser & Wirth will present the latest body of work by Hungarian born, New York-based...

12-9-19_6849

13 Feb – 12 Apr 2020

Los Angeles

Beginning 13 February 2020, Hauser & Wirth will debut ‘Sottobosco,’ the first LA solo exhibition for critically...

GENZK101278,GENZK101279 08 with magazine

7 Feb – 2 May 2020

London

‘Window’ is an exhibition at our London gallery by Isa Genzken featuring a new and unseen body of work. Genzken’s...

1.Hero_ImageVITAL100609-hires

25 Jan – 4 May 2020

Somerset

Hauser & Wirth Somerset is pleased to present ‘SCARCH’, a solo exhibition by Not Vital, organised with Olivier...

ZINK YI DAVID-hires-3

17 Jan – 29 Feb 2020

Zurich

‘Rare Earths’ comprises new ceramic works which engage with the artist’s direct and intuitive approach to his...

ZHANG99612 A Young Man

17 Jan – 29 Feb 2020

Zurich

Hauser & Wirth is delighted to present an exhibition by Zhang Enli titled, ‘New Paintings’, on view from 17 January...

Be the first to know updates about Hauser & Wirth