Gary Simmons’ art represents the most thoughtful, poetic and subtle consideration of race and class conceived in the last 25 years. Born in New York in 1964, Simmons attended the School of Visual Arts and in 1990 received an MFA from CalArts in Los Angeles, where he exhibited his most affecting sculptural work. Simmons’ first studio after returning to New York was in an old school building, where he found abandoned rolling blackboards that he used as elements in his sculpture. Soon after he began his first series of chalk drawings using disturbingly naive racist cartoon imagery, which he executed on newly fabricated blackboards. The time spent in the school fortuitously focused Simmons’ ongoing reclamation of childhood fantasies and elusive ghostly memories. While closely identified over the years with his enormous wall drawings, or “erasure” drawings, Simmons has consistently worked across media. His photographs, installations, sculpture, drawings, paintings and public projects explore the visual language of our social and cultural landscape as they touch on symbols and themes that range from poetic longing to the vernacular of the inner city. With approximately 150 reproductions, an introduction by Okwui Enwezor, critical texts by Gwen Allen and Charles Wylie and a reprint of an important early essay by Nancy Princenthal, Paradise is the first publication to offer a comprehensive overview of Simmons’ multifarious career.
Binding: Cloth Hardback
Release: October 2012