Salute (Legacy Team) by Glenn Kaino

Glenn Kaino

Constellation of Concerns

1. Tommie x Glenn.JPG

Glenn Kaino and Tommie Smith. Photography by Afshin Shahidi © Glenn Kaino Studio

Pace is pleased to present the online presentation Glenn Kaino: Constellation of Concerns, which coincides with Bridge (Raise Your Voice in Silence), Kaino’s first solo exhibition with the gallery since he joined the program in 2021. Presented on the seventh floor of the gallery’s 540 West 25th Street space in New York from May 20 to June 11 and coinciding with Frieze New York, the in-person show will spotlight a single large-scale installation from Kaino’s longtime collaboration with Olympic track and field athlete Tommie Smith. In his expansive, interdisciplinary practice—which spans painting, sculpture, installation, film, and monumental public works—Kaino has explored issues related to equity, climate change, and other urgent topics. His art often examines the ways that empathy and subjectivity can help dismantle oppressive power structures and affect real change.


Gold medalist Tommie Smith (center) and bronze medalist John Carlos (right) showing the raised fist on the podium after the 200 m race at the 1968 Summer Olympics

The works highlighted in this online viewing room survey Kaino’s long-standing commitment to justice and Smith’s legacy. Kaino and Smith have been collaborating for nearly a decade, creating objects, drawings, and films inspired by Smith’s stories and a shared desire to instigate progress toward universal human rights. Smith is the only man in the history of track and field to hold 11 world records simultaneously. During the historic nineteenth Olympiad in Mexico City in the summer of 1968, Smith shattered the world record in the 200-meter men’s race, winning the gold medal. During the award ceremony, Smith raised his fist and then bowed his head in prayer—a silent protest and stand for liberation, unity, and human rights. Kaino’s work often explores the transformative power of social justice movements—including Smith’s historic salute—across physical and digital mediums. Constellation of Concerns highlights the artist’s boundary-pushing and rigorous investigations into art’s potential to catalyze change. 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.

The ongoing collaboration between Kaino and Smith has included a touring museum exhibition of their work organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and works from their collaboration have entered the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Kaino co-directed the Emmy-nominated film With Drawn Arms, which traces the significance of Smith’s historic salute and its resonance for generations of activists and athletes. Kaino and Smith have also worked together to create the Pass the Baton project, which comprises baton NFTs that pay homage to the advocates, activists, and changemakers carrying on Smith’s legacy. A highlight of this Online Viewing Room, Pass the Baton facilitates a generative crypto-giving structure that directly funds social justice efforts and organizations in the US.

Glenn Kaino, Invisible Man (Salute), 2018, aluminum and stainless steel, 86" × 30" × 30" (218.4 cm × 76.2 cm × 76.2 cm)

Invisible Man (Salute), 2018

Invisible Man (Salute) is a life-sized monument to Smith’s gesture for human rights and call for unity as a nation. Its title, a reference to Ralph Ellison’s classic novel about visibility and race, situates the work as a monument to the forgotten and ignored. Circling the work, the sculpted aluminum gives way to mirror-polished stainless steel, and the work disappears into its surroundings or, depending on the vantage point, reflects the viewer. Literally faceless by nature of the illusion, the figure nevertheless stands resolute through this active erasure. The sculpture is a monument and void intertwined that allows the viewer to contemplate their own relationship to Smith’s legacy.

Glenn Kaino, 19.83 (Reflection), 2013, gold plated steel, 30" × 129" × 24" (76.2 cm × 327.7 cm × 61 cm)

19.83 (Reflection), 2013

19.83 (Reflection) is an exercise in the crystallization and dissipation of memory. Creating a sculptural environment that materializes and loosely connects some of the ideas and concepts circulating around the image of this monumental gesture, 19.83 (Reflection) functions as a site wherein history, memory, and the present compete for prominence, as if to earn a position on the winner’s podium as Tommie Smith, Jon Carlos, and Peter Norman did many years ago.

Success embodied in a golden solitary object, laying dormant in the middle of the room; the act of walking barefoot across a space, feeling the cold ground beneath; a reverberating echo serving as a constant reminder of both a starting point and a dangerous ending—all intertwine in an inhabitable mnemonic device. Rather than illustrating a past event, it instead gives form to the architecture of complex structures in which narratives are created, transmitted, challenged, and re-made.

Glenn Kaino, Salute (Legacy Team), 2021, urethane resin, steel, wire, gold paint, glass, light, 38-1/2" × 51-1/2" × 8" (97.8 cm × 130.8 cm × 20.3 cm)


These works are part of an ongoing series of infinity mirror sculptures. The infinite reflection creates a golden path into the present but connected to the past—a spectacular reconciliation of a historic record, an individual memory, and a public symbol. It reveals the impact of one, magnified by its influence on many, with a reflective surface that invites the viewer to contemplate how they fit into the legacy of Smith’s sacrifice.

Glenn Kaino, Salute (Don't Just Be A Number), 2018, urethane resin, steel, wire, gold paint, glass, light, 38-1/2" × 51-1/2" × 8" (97.8 cm × 130.8 cm × 20.3 cm)

Pass The Baton, 2021

Pass the Baton is an art project celebrating Tommie Smith’s iconic raised-fist protest for human rights from the podium during the medal ceremony in the 1968 Olympic Games. Inspired by the baton Tommie used in four record-breaking races, 7,872 digitally- rendered baton NFTs will bring Tommie’s salute and message of unity and perseverance to digital space. In partnership with 24 organizations fighting for human rights—Tommie’s Legacy Team—the project uses blockchain technology to drive meaningful change.

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Glenn Kaino, Pass the Baton (Baton #2356), 2021, non-fungible token
Glenn Kaino, Pass the Baton (Baton #200), 2021, non-fungible token
Glenn Kaino, Pass The Baton (Deon), 2021, wood, hydrocal, acrylic and hologram, 16-1/2" × 17-1/2" × 9" (41.9 cm × 44.5 cm × 22.9 cm)
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  • Past, Glenn Kaino, Constellation of Concerns, May 19, 2022