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  • December 31, 1969 | 7:00 PM
    December 31, 1969
    7:00 PM

Gary Simmons

Born in New York, NY, 1964
Lives and works in New York, NY

Day 23: Gary Simmons

Gary Simmons is best known for his eerie “erasure” drawings. He illustrates figures and iconic objects with white chalk and then smears them. This technique gives them a haunting, sometimes nightmarish allure as he addresses themes surrounding race, class, and personal history.

Watch this video (by Whitney Focus, Whitney Museum of American Art) and hear Gary Simmons explain the “ghost concept” as it relates to his 1994 work Step into the Arena (The Essentialist Trap).


1990 M.F.A., California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA
1988 B.F.A., School of Visual Arts, New York, NY

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2011 Simon Lee Gallery, London
2010 Black Marquee, Anthony Meier Fine Arts, San Francisco
Double Feature, SAKS, Geneva
Midnight Matinee, Metro Pictures, New York
2008 Smoke, Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles
Night of the Fires, Metro Pictures, New York
Gary Simmons: Crawling Along the Edge of a Straight Razor, CAIS Gallery, Hong Kong, China
2007 Gary Simmons, Anthony Meier Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA
House of Pain, Simon Lee, London, UK
2006 1964, The Bohen Foundation, New York, NY
2005 Diggin’ in the Crates, Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2004 Criminal Slang, Metro Pictures, New York, NY
2002 Gary Simmons, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Chicago, IL and The Studio Museum in Harlem,
New York, NY; traveled to SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM [cat.]

Selected Group Exhibitions

2010 Singular Visions, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
2009 The Foundation of Contemporary Arts Benefit Show, Lehmann Maupin, New York
NeoHooDoo: Art of a Forgotten Faith, Miami Art Museum, Miami
30 Seconds off an Inch, The Studio Museum, New York (2009-2010) (cat.)
Collecting History: Highlighting Recent Acquisitions, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Nothingness and Being, The Jumex Collection, Mexico City
Sites, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
2008 An Unruly History of the Readymade, The Jumex Collection, Mexico City (2008-2009) (cat.)
The Station, Midblock East, Miami
Gwangju Biennale, Korea
NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith, The Menil Collection, Houston
2008 Octopus 8: The Softness in the Rock: Hope in Disappointing Times, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces,
Melbourne, Australia [cat.]
2007 Collected Identities: Gifts from the Blake Byrne Collection, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University,
Durham, NC
Comic Abstraction: Image-Breaking, Image-Making, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY [cat.]
For the Love of the Game: Race and Sport in America, The Amistad Center for Art & Culture at
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT
From Chelsea to Caochangdi, Chambers Fine Art, Beijing, China
2006 The Armory Show: The International Fair of New Art, Piers 90 and 92, New York, NY [cat.]
The Constant Possibility of Erasure, Dorsky Gallery, New York, NY

Selected Collections

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
La Colección Jumex, Mexico City, Mexico
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

30 Americans is organized by the Rubell Family Collection, Miami. The presenting sponsor at the Corcoran Gallery of Art is Altria Group.

Additional support has been provided by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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