In conjunction with the opening of Project Gallery: Gary Simmons, the artist will discuss the newly commissioned, large-scale mural that he created for PAMM’s double-height project gallery with PAMM Curator René Morales.
Simmons’ project touches on the racially charged history of boxing, referencing the contentious nicknames of various great figures in the sport, from Joe Lewis (“The Mahogany Mauler”) to John Mugabi (“The Beast”). The composition features an eerie erasure effect, which the artist achieves by blurring his drawings with his hands. Recalling the look of chalk on blackboards, the effect reinforces the mysterious quality of Simmons’ imagery while suggesting movement, the fleetingness of time, the pliability of history, and the inevitable fading of cultural and personal memory.
Gary Simmons was born in New York City in 1964. He received a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 1988 and an MFA from the California Institutes of the Arts in 1990. He was recently awarded with the Joyce Alexander Wein Prize from the Studio Museum in Harlem in 2o13. He has presented various solo exhibitions, including Extant Phantoms, Ikkan Art Gallery, Singapore (2013); FOCUS: Gary Simmons, The Museum of Modern Art Fort Worth, Texas (2013); Shine, Simon Lee Gallery, London (2011); and Nights of the Fires, Metro Pictures, New York (2008). Select group exhibitions include Behold, America!, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, California (2012); The Bearden Project, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2012); The American Art: Masterpieces from the Whitney, The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea (2011); Singular Visions, Whitney Museum of Art, New York (2010); Nothingness and Being, Collección Jumex, Mexico City (2009); and 30 Americans, The Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2008). Simmons lives and works in New York.