From his child-sized Klan robes and rows of empty gilded sneakers to his recent photographs of uninhabited pedagogical spaces, Gary Simmons's work contains and invokes an absence as palpable and fraught with meaning as any presence. His best-known works, expansive erasure drawings, address issues pertaining to race, pedagogy, and culture—sketched-on blackboards and walls are rubbed and smudged by the artist's own hands.
A widely acclaimed young artist who came to prominence in the late 80s, Simmons deals extensively with black identity and American popular culture, from cartoons to vernacular architecture, through drawing and sculpture. This catalogue, the artist's first, focuses on work produced since the mid-1990s. It accompanies the exhibition Gary Simmons, presented at the MCA, February 16–May 19, 2002.
Published by MCA Chicago and the Studio Museum, Harlem, 2002, hardcover, 88 pages, 11.25 x 9.8 inches.