About Charles Gaines

Creative Time is proud to be partnering with artist Charles Gaines to debut The American Manifest, a monumental, highly ambitious series of artworks which address the legacy of slavery and the American Dream. Developing systems that link seemingly disparate layers of a subject, time or place, Charles Gaines’ installations, drawings, performances and collaborations explore how forms, language, music and image construct meaning. Through both his practice and his teaching, Gaines is a major influence on the field of conceptual art and a mentor to two generations of artists.

Charles has had over 70 solo shows and several hundred group exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe. His work is in prominent public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Yet this important project–installed both on Governors Island and in Times Square–will be the first public artwork of his career.

Charles received his BA from Jersey City State University and his MFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Gaines taught at California State University, Fresno from 1967–1989, and he is currently on the faculty of the California Institute of the Arts, 1989–present. In 2019, Gaines received the 60th Edward MacDowell Medal.