New Work: Charles Gaines presents Manifestos 4 (2020), an installation comprising four drawings, two videos, and a musical composition for sextet as well as Sky Box II (2020), an immersive experience of text and the unknown. The conceptual artist’s new works emerge from research into the Dred Scott Decision of 1857, which decreed that Black people were not U.S. citizens and therefore could not sue for their right to freedom. Many believe the ruling, one of the most controversial decisions of the Supreme Court, authorized racism and has left an indelible stain on the foundation of this country. In his charged return to this historical court ruling and its trial documents, Gaines disarms these texts by subjecting them to his rules-based methodologies, disrupting our understanding of rational information and the realm of the sublime.
Major support for New Work: Charles Gaines is provided by Randi and Bob Fisher.
Generous support is provided by Alka and Ravin Agrawal, Joachim and Nancy Hellman Bechtle, Charles and Ivette Esserman, Katie Hall and Tom Knutsen, Adriane Iann and Christian Stolz, Katie and Matt Paige, SFMOMA’s Contemporaries, Sheri and Paul Siegel Exhibition Fund, Mei and Allan Warburg, Robin Wright and Ian Reeves, and Sonya Yu and Zachary Lara.
Header image: Charles Gaines, Manifestos 3, 2018 (detail); courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth; © Charles Gaines; photo: Fredrik Nilsen