Charles Gaines has been interrogating the way meaning is constructed through lyrical, system-based works since the 1970s, when he began incorporating the grid as a central formal device in his work. A key figure in the development of Conceptual art, Gaines analyzes, overlaps, and juxtaposes different systems of representation—mathematical, photographic, linguistic, notational—in order to reveal individual fallacies and collective poignancy. Following Dia’s recent acquisition of a body of work by Gaines, this focused, collection-based survey brings together the artist’s first mathematically determined grid drawings and early experiments with transcribing photographic images into numerical notations, alongside more recent investigations into how image, identity, and language are represented and deconstructed.
Charles Gaines was born in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1944. He lives in Los Angeles.