Collections of Claude Simard: A Conversation

Installation view, If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day: Collections of Claude Simard, Tang Teaching Museum, 2017

Join us in New York City at 6:30 pm Wednesday, May 17, at the Jack Shainman Gallery for a discussion about the life and legacy of artist and gallerist Claude Simard and the current exhibition at the Tang Teaching Museum If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day: Collections of Claude Simard.

The artists Hank Willis Thomas and Leslie Wayne, ArtNews Editor-in-Chief Sarah Douglas, and Tang Teaching Museum Dayton Director Ian Berry, who organized the exhibition, will lead the discussion.

Claude Simard (1956-2014) was an influential figure within the international art community. Co-founder of the Jack Shainman Gallery, he dedicated over 30 years of his life to engaging with and enriching the lives of artists as both muse and patron. His voracious drive to collect and discover resulted in a sizable collection of art and artifacts from across centuries and continents, works that range from Ghanaian Fante Asafo flags to Nick Cave’s Soundsuits. These objects served as offerings of inspiration for his artist friends, brought attention to contemporary artists operating outside of Western art centers, and represent collecting as an inherently artistic practice in its own right.

Jack Shainman Gallery is located at 513 W. 20th St. in New York City.

The event is free and open to the public, and reservations are requested. Please RSVP by emailing

About the Participants

Ian Berry
Ian Berry is Dayton Director of The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College. A specialist in contemporary art, Berry has organized over ninety museum exhibitions including interdisciplinary collaborations on a subjects from the Hudson River to Shaker furniture, and monographic exhibitions with artists such as Terry Adkins, Nicole Eisenman, Nancy Grossman, Jim Hodges, Nina Katchadourian, Corita Kent, Nicholas Krushenick, Shahzia Sikander, Amy Sillman, Alma Thomas, Fred Tomaselli, and Kara Walker. Berry also serves as Professor of Liberal Arts at Skidmore and is author and editor of many volumes devoted to contemporary art practice.

Sarah Douglas
Sarah Douglas is Editor-in-Chief of ARTnews magazine. She has been an art journalist and editor for over 15 years. Prior to ARTnews, she was Culture Editor at The New York Observer and launched their visual art site GalleristNY. Douglas has contributed to The Economist, The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Art Newspaper (where she served for four years as U.S. Editorial Coordinator), and The National, among other publications. In 2013, she was the recipient of ArtTable’s New Leadership Award.

Hank Willis Thomas
Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist living and working in New York City. His work focuses on themes related to perspective identity, commodity, media, and popular culture. He often incorporates recognizable icons into his work, many from well-known advertising and branding campaigns. On advertising, in an interview with Time, Thomas said, “Part of advertising’s success is based on its ability to reinforce generalizations developed around race, gender and ethnicity which are generally false, but [these generalizations] can sometimes be entertaining, sometimes true, and sometimes horrifying.”

Thomas’ monograph, Pitch Blackness, was published by Aperture. He has exhibited throughout the U.S. and abroad including, The International Center of Photography, Public Art Fund, The Guggenhiem Museum Bilbao, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Musée du quai Branly, and the Cleveland Museum of Art among others. Thomas’ work is in numerous public collections including The Museum of Modern Art New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Brooklyn Museum, The High Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Collaborative projects include Question Bridge: Black Males and In Search Of The Truth, Cause Collective. In 2015 Thomas cofounded For Freedoms, the first artist run super PAC, which won a 2017 Infinity Award for New Media and Online Platform. Thomas is a member of the Public Design Commission for the City of New York. He received a BFA in Photography and Africana studies from New York University and his MFA/MA in Photography and Visual Criticism from the California College of Arts. He also received an honorary doctorate from the Institute for Doctoral Studies in Visual Arts.

Leslie Wayne
Leslie Wayne’s signature works are known for their highly dimensional surfaces. She approaches oil paint as a sculptural material, often times scraping, folding, cutting and draping it to approximate forms in nature or, like Readymades, to stand in for the objects they represent. In her new work, Wayne reaches for, in her words, “that seductive dislocation” by exploring the range of possibilities for the representation of an illusion in as many different ways as possible, from trompe-l’oeil to verisimilitude, while still remaining undeniably within the confines of a painting.

Wayne was born in Germany in 1953, and grew up in California. She currently lives and works in New York. Wayne studied painting at the University of California, Santa Barbara from 1971 to 1973, and received a BFA in sculpture from Parsons School of Design. She has been awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Artist's Grant (1985), an Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Artist's Grant (1994), a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Painting (2006), a Buhl Foundation Award (2004), a Joan Mitchell Foundation Artist Grant (2012), and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2017).

Wayne’s work is in the public collections of The Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL; la Coleccion Jumex, Mexico City; Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy; The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC; le Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris; The Cooper Hewitt Design Museum Smithsonian Library, NYC; The Miami Museum of Contemporary Art, FL; The Portland Museum of Art, Portland, OR; and The Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY, among others.

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