los-angeles

Charles Gaines

Richard Heller Gallery

Charles Gaines’s latest wall pieces combine photographs culled from various agencies’ archives of accident reports from Mount Rainier with textual accounts of the specific mishaps. Borrowing from Conceptual art, print journalism, and history painting, Gaines centered each of the five clusters of images and texts on view around a large black-and-white photo of the Washington mountain overlaid with white text telling fascinating, at times morbid tales of fate and folly, tragedy and survival: Absent Figures: Brigham Files (all works 2000), for instance, describes the miraculous survival of four climbers [from a team of six) who slid into a crevasse in part because of the recklessness of one member of the team, who managed to escape the crevasse but then met his end by sliding half a mile down the mountain. Around the central annotated images are smaller photographs and texts: a letter from

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