Kabuto (Kangol) by Glenn Kaino

Glenn Kaino, Kabuto (Kangol), 2023, bronze and fabric, 10-3/4" × 14-13/16" × 12-3/8" (27.3 cm × 37.6 cm × 31.4 cm) © Glenn Kaino

Glenn Kaino



b. 1972, Los Angeles, California

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Glenn Kaino is known internationally for his expansive vision and activist-minded practice, which encompasses painting, sculpture, installation, performance, monumental public art, theatrical production, and feature film.

Examining a wide range of political, social, and environmental issues, Kaino takes a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to art making. His work brings together systems of knowledge, forms of production, and people that do not normally have a chance to connect, and often involves long-term partnerships with a diverse array of visionary collaborators. Kaino’s work in any media and within any system is distinguished by his obsessive investment in technical virtuosity, functionality, and legitimacy.

The artist’s practice, which has focused on equity, social justice, and climate change, among other urgent topics, traces through lines among various art historical movements, including Arte Povera, Conceptualism, and performance art. A relentless optimist, Kaino creates work that is imbued with hope, revealing structures of power and domination, and creating opportunities for direct action and progress, all rooted in the belief that cultural production can effect real change. Kaino often highlights the illusionistic and mesmeric effects of scientific and natural phenomena in his large-scale installations to explore notions of empathy and subjectivity and to bring legibility to the often-invisible forces that shape our world.

Intensely active in the fields of media and technology, Kaino’s recent major projects include In & Of Itself, the critically acclaimed off-Broadway show that resulted from his decade-long performance art collaboration A.Bandit with celebrated writer and performer Derek DelGaudio, which culminated in a feature-length film on Hulu produced by Kaino; and the critically acclaimed feature-length documentary With Drawn Arms, a film co-directed by Kaino, which traces the significance of long-time collaborator Tommie Smith’s historic salute for human rights at the 1968 Olympic Games and its resonance for generations of activists and athletes. In 2016, Kaino began VISIBILITY, a long-term collaboration with actor and activist Jesse Williams that creates anti-colonial interventions in the larger technology and media landscape through award-winning mobile apps, shows, films, and other forms of cultural production.

The artist co-founded the seminal Los Angeles artist-run space Deep River in 1997, was a founding board member of the arts nonprofit LAXART in 2005 and has since played a critical role in the establishment and development of similar organizations in the city. In 2014, he co-founded the Mistake Room, which stages exhibitions, talks, screenings, performances, and other programming. Kaino is also a co-founder of Active Cultures, the first cultural organization dedicated to the intersections of art and food.

Kaino received the two largest public art grants in the history of Los Angeles for commissions at the city’s 6th Street Viaduct and MTA LAX Metro Connector, which will be unveiled in 2024 and 2025, respectively.

Kaino’s work was featured in the Whitney Biennial, New York (2004); the 12th Biennale de Lyon, France (2013); and Prospect.3, New Orleans (2014). The artist represented the United States at the 13th Cairo Biennale (2013). In 2021, he figured in the group exhibition Stories of Resistance at the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis and was included in the Québec City Biennial at the Musée National Des Beaux-Arts Du Québec, Canada (2022). Kaino has presented solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2006); The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2014); Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (2016); Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio (2017); High Museum of Art, Atlanta (2018); San José Museum of Art, California (2019); Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York (2019); MASS MoCA (2021); and the Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles (2023), among other institutions. The artist’s works are held in the collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; among other institutions.

Bridge (Raise Your Voice in Silence) by Glenn Kaino

Glenn Kaino, Bridge (Raise Your Voice in Silence), 2021, fiberglass, steel, wire, gold paint, 36" × 600" (91.4 cm × 1,524 cm) © Glenn Kaino


Installation view of Glenn Kaino: In the Light of a Shadow at MASS MoCA, 2021. Photo by Tony Luong © Glenn Kaino

Coordinated Anthropocene Time (ATC-19:84a) by Glenn Kaino

Glenn Kaino, Coordinated Anthropocene Time (ATC-19:84a), 2021, gold plated model parts, quartz, insect pins, paint and high-density urethane, 22" × 22" × 4-5/8" (55.9 cm × 55.9 cm × 11.7 cm) © Glenn Kaino

Spontaneous Combustion (2:22:51) by Glenn Kaino

Glenn Kaino, Spontaneous Combustion (2:22:51), 2019, cotton flag, tarring solution, time, 98" × 55" × 40" (248.9 cm × 139.7 cm × 101.6 cm) © Glenn Kaino

Don't Ruffle Feathers by Glenn Kaino

Glenn Kaino, Don't Ruffle Feathers, 2023, cotton, thread, wood and metal, 36-1/2" × 20-3/4" × 2-1/2" (92.7 cm × 52.7 cm × 6.4 cm), frame, 47-1/2" × 20-3/4" × 2-1/2" (120.7 cm × 52.7 cm × 6.4 cm), overall © Glenn Kaino

Daniel by Glenn Kaino

Glenn Kaino, Daniel, 2023, oil on canvas, 61" × 49" × 3" (154.9 cm × 124.5 cm × 7.6 cm) © Glenn Kaino

Alena by Glenn Kaino

Glenn Kaino, Alena, 2023, oil on canvas, 61" × 49" × 3" (154.9 cm × 124.5 cm × 7.6 cm) © Glenn Kaino

Where You From by Glenn Kaino

Glenn Kaino, Where You From, 2023, cotton, thread, wood and metal, 12-1/4" × 16" × 2-1/2" (31.1 cm × 40.6 cm × 6.4 cm), each frame © Glenn Kaino

The Last Kabuki by Glenn Kaino

Glenn Kaino, The Last Kabuki, 2023, cotton, thread, wood and metal, 31-1/4" × 24-1/2" × 2-1/2" (79.4 cm × 62.2 cm × 6.4 cm), frame, 41" × 24-1/2" × 2-1/2" (104.1 cm × 62.2 cm × 6.4 cm), overall © Glenn Kaino