124
124

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED WEST COAST COLLECTION

Charles Gaines
FALLING LEAVES: SET 4
Estimate
30,00040,000
LOT SOLD. 150,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
124

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED WEST COAST COLLECTION

Charles Gaines
FALLING LEAVES: SET 4
Estimate
30,00040,000
LOT SOLD. 150,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Day Auction

|
New York

Charles Gaines
B. 1944
FALLING LEAVES: SET 4
ii. signed, titled Falling Leaves: Set 4, Drawing 2, Plot for October 6, 1979 and dated 1979  
iii. signed, titled Falling Leaves: Set 4, Drawing 3, Green Numbers Generated Between 10/1/78 and 10/6/78 and dated 1979 
photograph and ink on paper, in 3 parts, mounted to paperboard
each: 24 by 20 in. 61 by 50.8 cm.
overall: 30 1/4 by 70 in. 76.8 by 117.8 cm.
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Provenance

John Weber Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1980

Catalogue Note

At once conceptually rigorous and visually compelling, Falling Leaves: Set 4 is a pivotal example of Charles Gaines’s early praxis. Completed in 1979, this work concretizes the artistic epiphany he would later call “the awakening,” from which he was first inspired to use mathematical and numeric systems to create marks in ink on a grid, building upon each calculation to produce codified renderings of natural subjects. A color photograph of a tree transitions through the composition in stages of visual disintegration, eventually becoming a reduced, gridded version of the original. Belying the pure logic of Gaines’s rule-based methodology, this elegant and visually poignant illustration offers an investigation into the slippages between visual and symbolic meaning.

Adopting his systematic method of production as a barrier between the work and his own subjectivity, Gaines seeks out the tensions between the empirical objective and the semiotic attachment of meaning. In reducing his images to pixelated outlines, he pushes our cognitive reception of form to its limits, probing the boundaries of what we can still perceive as a “tree.” Coupled with his abiding interest in identity politics, Gaines’s formal and mathematical process becomes an investigation into how these methods construct our experiences of images, language, and each other.

Contemporary Art Day Auction

|
New York