Gary Simmons: Public Enemy is the first comprehensive career survey of the work of multidisciplinary artist Gary Simmons (b. 1964, New York; lives in Los Angeles). The most in-depth presentation of Simmons’s work to date, the exhibition covers thirty years of the artist’s career, encompassing approximately seventy works.
Since the late 1980s Simmons has played a key role in situating questions of race, class, and gender identity at the centre of contemporary art discourse. Notable for his early application of conceptual artistic strategies, Simmons exposes and analyses histories of racism inscribed in US visual culture. Over the course of his career, Simmons has revealed traces of these histories in the fields of sports, cinema, literature, music, and architecture and urbanism, while drawing heavily on popular genres such as hip-hop, horror, and science fiction. Guided by an internal logic, his approach is cool, analytical, and unflinching in its interrogation of intense historical narratives, yet the results consistently deliver a strong emotional charge.