Valencia, CA, April 15, 2013—Known for a body of intellectually rigorous work centered on language and how meaning is formed from words, artist Charles Gaines has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Gaines has been a School of Art faculty member at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) since 1989.
Gaines has taught and mentored generations of students at CalArts during his tenure spanning nearly 25 years. “Charles Gaines personifies what the artist-citizen at CalArts is all about—beautifully rigorous and insightful as an artist, dedicated and demanding as a teacher, generous and collegial as a leader in our community,” said Jeannene Przyblyski, CalArts’ provost. “He richly deserves this honor.”
The New York Times has described Gaines’s work as “visually clean, intellectually complex, and about big things.” Early in his career, Gaines created work based on numerical systems and sequences, following the path set by John Cage, the influential composer and artist known for creating compositions out of chance events. By the mid-1990s, Gaines turned his focus to language, often working with drawn or photographic images. In particular, he has investigated the systematic aspects of language to reveal the gaps between perception and cognition.
Gaines has had more than 70 solo exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world, including in Berlin, Los Angeles, New York and Venice. Later this year, he will have a solo exhibition at New York’s Paula Cooper Gallery. A retrospective of his work is being planned for the Studio Museum in Harlem.
In addition to Gaines, two CalArts alumni have been named 2013 Guggenheim Fellows: choreographer and performer luciana achugar, who received her BFA in 1995 in dance, and artist David McDonald, who received his MFA in 1992 in art.
Guggenheim Fellows are appointed on the basis of achievement and exceptional promise for continued accomplishment, and each Fellow receives funding for a specific project that he or she has proposed. Achugar, Gaines and McDonald are among 175 artists, scholars and scientists selected this year from a pool of almost 3,000 applicants. The fellowships are awarded to professionals who have demonstrated exceptional ability by producing a significant body of work in the fields of natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and the creative arts.
The Fellowships are distributed by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, founded in 1925 by the former United States Senator and Mrs. Simon Guggenheim in memory of their son John Simon Guggenheim. Decisions on Fellowship recipients are based on recommendations from hundreds of expert advisors and approved by the Foundation's Board of Trustees, which includes five members who are previous Fellows of the Foundation.