Known for his collaborative projects with prominent cultural figures like Tommie Smith, Jesse Williams, and John Cage, artist Glenn Kaino takes a multi-disciplinary approach to contemporary issues.Read More
Los Angeles-born, Glenn Kaino attended the University of California, completing a BA at Irvine in 1993 and an MFA at San Diego in 1996. The following year, he co-founded Deep River, a foundational artist-run space in Los Angeles.
Other contributions to shaping the Los Angeles art scene followed as Kaino became a founding board member of LAXART in 2005, and later co-founded Active Cultures, the first cultural institution dedicated to the synergy of art and food.
Geared towards responding to pressing social, political, and environmental issues, Glenn Kaino works in a collaborative manner across multiple fields of art. Among his artistic output are paintings, sculpture, monumental installations, performance, and feature films.
Influences of Arte Povera and Conceptualism feed into his work, as well as a fascination with history, contemporary culture, science, and the fruits of collaborative partnerships.
A key part of Kaino's practice has been long-term partnerships with a variety of musicians, composers, scientists, magicians, athletes, and actors, among others.
For nearly a decade, Kaino has collaborated with former athlete and civil rights icon Tommie Smith. Their collaboration led to various exhibitions and artworks, including Bridge (2013), a 30-metre-long installation made with multiple casts of Smith's arm raised in the iconic fist he made at the 1968 Olympics, and Invisible Man (Salute) (2018), a monument that simultaneously references and renders invisible that same moment through a life-size silhouette with a mirrored surface.
In 2016, Kaino began a long-term technological collaboration with actor and activist Jesse Williams, creating anti-colonial interventions by developing mobile games, apps, and other forms of cultural production.
Glenn Kaino's performance works are based on collaborative action. For Burning Boards (2007), Kaino invited artists, curators, writers, and chess masters to the Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria for a chess tournament. Playing with lit candles as chess pieces, meaning in the work came from the players finding common cause in overcoming the third opponent: time. The format has since been repeated multiple times, including at the Chess Hall of Fame.
Together with magician Derek DelGaudio, Kaino also co-founded A.Bandit, an experimental performance art collective that marries performance art practices and magic.
Collaborating with the elements, Glenn Kaino also produces sculptural installations that play on natural phenomena. For the 2021 installation Tidepools (2021), Glenn Kaino presents cloud chambers in which atmospheric particles are made visible. A theme in many of the artist's less overly activist works, the process of making the invisible visible ties back to Kaino's intent to shine a light on marginalised peoples and issues.
A creator of large-scale temporary and permanent works, Glen Kaino has worked on several commissions for public spaces. In 2008, he unveiled Arch, a monumental public sculpture that commemorates the 250th anniversary of the City of Pittsburgh—now permanently installed at Pittsburgh International Airport. In 2021, Kaino received two large public art grants from the city of Los Angeles for projects at the city's MTA LAX Metro Connector and 6th Street Viaduct.
Glenn Kaino's solo exhibitions include In the Light of a Shadow, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), North Adams (2021); Glenn Kaino: A Shout Within a Storm, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2017); Glenn Kaino: 19.83, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2014); Safe | Vanish, LAXART, Los Angeles (2010); and Laws Were Made for Rogues, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2006).
Glenn Kaino's group exhibitions include Stories of Resistance, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Missouri (2021); With Drawn Arms, High Museum of Art, Atlanta (2018); Art In the Age Of ... Asymmetrical Warfare, Kunstinstituut Melly (FKA Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art), Rotterdam (2015); The Artists' Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles (2010); Southern Exposure: Works from the Collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney (2008); Black Belt, The Studio Museum in Harlem (2003); and One Planet Under a Groove, Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York (2001).
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