Gary Simmons: Arena
May 18 – June 22, 2013
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 18, 6 – 8pm
6750 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA
Regen Projects is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Gary Simmons. This will be Simmons's first show with the gallery and will include paintings, drawings, a large billboard, and a wall drawing.
Drawing inspiration from some of boxing's most tragic heroes including Emile Griffith, Benny Paret, and Ruben "Hurricane" Carter, Simmons investigates the politics of sport, history, race, and class within American culture. Vintage fight posters serve as a backdrop to paintings and drawings that depict falling stars, microphones, and Yankee stadium, a legendary venue for boxing matches from its opening in 1923 until the 1970's. Executed in his signature style, isolated, ghostly, semi-erased gestures ask the viewer to question their original context while elevating them to an iconic status. The conceptual depth of Simmons's work lies not only in his subject matter, but also in his use of materials. Plywood surfaces allude to construction sites and the physical barriers that prevent entrance to an exclusive location.
Gary Simmons's work explores race, cultural politics, memory, personal experiences, and reconstruction of the past. Drawing upon imagery culled from a variety of sources including television, film, music, architecture, and American popular culture, Simmons has created a captivating and idiosyncratic formal style. His practice manifests itself in a variety of forms that challenge and seduce the viewer. Utilizing installation, sculpture, painting, and drawing, his work embodies many important tenants that have informed the making of art and art historical practice since the late 1980's.
Simmons's art is a commanding fusion of the social, political, cultural and visual, each force acting in concert with the other. While some of these aspects alternately emerge and recede in his bodies of work – the political references in one work being more explicit, the popular culturally determined content of another being more germane – all of Simmons's art bears some trace of transformation of given, extant materials found in our increasingly inescapable and overwhelming visual environment.
Wylie, Charles, "Gary Simmons: Critique and Wonder," Gary Simmons: Paradise. (Bologna: Damiani, 2012), 98.
Gary Simmons has exhibited extensively both internationally and nationally. He first gained notoriety in the 1993 Whitney Biennial, as well as Thelma Golden's landmark exhibition "Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art," 1994. A recent exhibition "FOCUS: Gary Simmons" was at the Modern Art Museum, Ft Worth, Texas, 2013. He was subject of a traveling solo exhibition in 2002 at SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and The Studio Museum Harlem, New York. Simmons has also exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Kunthaus Zurich, Zurich; The Fabric Workshop/Museum, Philadelphia; Hirshhorn Museum and, Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., Drawing Center, New York, among others. Catalogues include Gary Simmons: Paradise, 2012 and Gary Simmons, 2002.