Charles Gaines: Skybox I

Prospect.3 Biennial: Notes for Now, New Orleans, LA
October 25, 2014 – January 25, 2015

Exhibition | Acquisition Grant

This work was gifted to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art through the support of VIA Art Fund.

Skybox I by Charles Gaines was an anchor work for Franklin Sirmans’ Prospect.3: Notes for Now, the third New Orleans biennial that took place from October 2014 – January 2015. The work is comprised of three LED panels emblazoned with political texts on oppression and colonialism, freedom, and democracy by radical thinkers across nations and eras: Gerrard Winstanley (England, 1609– 1676), Léopold Sédar Senghor (Senegal, 1906–2001), Frantz Fanon (Martinique/ Algeria, 1925–1961), and Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam, 1890–1969). Over 30,000 holes have been laser cut into the surface of the box, giving the illusion of deep space and the night sky when lit up. As one examines the panels, the texts begin to blur and disappear, giving way to an expanse of stars. 

Gaines is a highly regarded conceptual artist known for employing rule-based methodologies such as plotting or mathematics to present his visual and often text-based renderings of historical, cultural and social inquiry. He is deeply interested in language and representation, and how the individual experiences art and derives meaning from it. Gaines resides in Los Angeles and has been full-time faculty at the California Institute of the Arts since 1989.

To learn more, visit Prospect.3 and LACMA.

Images: Charles Gaines, Skybox I, 2011; acrylic, digital print, polyester film, LED lights; Collection of Los Angeles County Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by VIA Art Fund, 2014.