Anthony Meier Fine Arts is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by New York-based artist Gary Simmons. For his third exhibition at the gallery, Simmons continues a recent cinematic theme, focusing on Blaxploitation films of the 1970’s.
With Black Marquee, Simmons transforms the space by painting lines of text – titles of films – directly onto the gallery walls, which have been painted a 1970’s reminiscent deep brown for the exhibition. Employing his signature ‘erasure style,’ Simmons has smeared the images giving the illusion of movement, as if the credit roll is flickering.
The imagery is accompanied by a sculptural and auditory component: fiberglass facsimiles of old drive-in movie speakers emit a soundtrack, compiled by the artist, called Greetings and Salutations. Disembodied voices greet each other in classic 1970’s street slang, matching some of the text on the walls, and the viewer is surrounded both visually and acoustically.
Simmons has often referenced the intersection of pop-culture, race, and class in his work. The relatively short-lived Blaxploitation film genre – while criticized for being exploitive of black culture, and often made in a quick, formulaic, low-budget style – centered on these same themes. This exhibition continues the artist’s exploration of and fascination with the societal landscape.
Gary Simmons has been featured in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Bohen Foundation, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Studio Museum of Harlem, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Hirshorn Museum, Washington, DC; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the St. Louis Art Museum; and the Kunsthaus Zürich. Simmons has recently completed commissions for the New York Presbyterian Hospital and the Dallas Cowboys Stadium.