Library of Ideas: A Course by Charles Gaines

On the occasion of ‘Charles Gaines. Palm Trees and Other Works,’ at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles in 2019, LA-based conceptual artist Charles Gaines conducted a ten-part lecture series on the tenets of aesthetics and critical theory in art, bringing his mastery of the field into a public setting.

This lecture series offered the public a chance to hear the artist discuss topics that are normally reserved for his classes at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), where he is on the faculty.
Transforming our Book & Printed Matter Lab into his classroom, Charles began by explaining the intention of the course, which was his attempt at creating a narrative history of critical thinking around theories of aesthetics and culture, bringing the ideas he discusses in his beloved CalArts course, ‘Content and Form’ into the gallery setting.
To start his discussion, Charles explained that the course would be divided into four ‘chapters.’ Chapter 1 focused on classical Aesthetic Theory, all the way up to the modern period in European history. Chapter 2 was a discussion around the relationship between ideas surrounding art, and ideas surrounding culture (focusing specifically on the writings of Henri Focillon and Immanuel Kant). In Chapter 3, Charles traced Rosalind Krauss’s influential suppositions about the grid and introduced the class to the relationship between content and reality. Lastly, Chapter 4 featured an investigation of empiricism and the philosophies of David Hume.

The first lecture in the series is included below. To explore the ‘Library of Ideas’ lecture series in its entirety, click here.

A new online exhibition, ‘Charles Gaines. Numbers and Trees: Palm Canyon, Palm Trees Series 3‘ opens Monday, 17 August.

Be the first to know updates about Hauser & Wirth
Thanks for signing up. You must confirm your email address before we can send you. Please check your email and follow the instructions.
*By submitting your email address, you consent to receive our Newsletter. Your consent is revocable at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in our Newsletter. The Newsletter is sent in accordance with our Privacy Policy and to advertise products and services of Hauser & Wirth Ltd. and its affiliated companies.