Exhibition

Gary Simmons

13 Sep 2018 – 20 Oct 2018

Simon Lee

London, United Kingdom

Address

Travel Information

  • Green Park / Bond Street

Save Event: Gary Simmons

I've seen this

People who have saved this event:

close

Simon Lee Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based artist, Gary Simmons. This is his fourth solo exhibition with the gallery.

About

Across his wide-ranging practice racial, social and cultural politics have been central themes and continue to occupy this recent series of the artist’s signature ‘erasure drawings’. Since the early stages of his career, Simmons has used the act of erasure as a means by which to interrogate racial identity and oppression in America. In these new monumentally-scaled works, he depicts the names of African-American actors of the silver screen alongside the titles of the silent films and early ‘talking pictures’ in which they starred. Towering over the viewer as though cinema screens themselves, each work is crafted over time with washes of grayscale pigment that evoke the wiped-clean slate of a blackboard. At centre stage, the oft-forgotten names of black screen actors are illuminated in glowing white paint, while the titles of the films recede into the background, smudged almost to oblivion. In works such as Hamtree (2018) – which shines a light on the long-forgotten vaudeville and burlesque performer, Hamtree Harrington – the atmospheric surface of the work is underlain with the ghostly outline of one of the racially-charged crow cartoon characters from Disney’s 1941 animation, Dumbo: a recurring motif in Simmons’ work. The haunting presence of the crow exposes racial stereotyping within the history of cinema, while drawing attention to its troubling position within our collective cultural memory and its role in the construction of contemporary America.

Art form Toggle

Exhibiting artists

Gary Simmons

Conversation

Have you been to this event? What do you think? Join the discussion here!
Remember, you can include links to your instagram pictures and to videos.