Press Release

Arthur Simms’ prolific and decades-long career comprises sculpture, as well as an abundant output of dimensional paintings and works on paper. Born in Saint Andrew, Jamaica (1961), Simms was inspired in early childhood by the improvisationally constructed carts he saw transporting goods to and from the market (he lived in Kingston until age 7, when his family moved to New York). Through Simms’ fluency with this sort of construction—clearly articulating a singular form using many disparate elements—he brought Robert Rauschenberg’s combines decisively into the round.



International exhibitions

International Archives 2nd half of 2021

Arthur Simms, And I Say, Brother Had A Very Good Day, One Halo

Martos Gallery, New York (USA)

05.11 - 23.12.2021




Exhibition 5 November - 23 December 2021. Martos Gallery, 41 Elizabeth Street - New York, NY 10013 (USA). T. +1 212 560 0670.  Hours : Tuesday – Saturday, 10AM - 6PM







Using natural material, found objects and items of autobiographical significance, and, consistently, wire or hemp rope as a binding agent, Simms’ body of sculpture comprises a vast diversity of forms. Some sculptures stand monumentally as opaque accumulations of twine; others are drawn into space, as Julio Gonzalez said in 1932 of the constellations and modern sculpture. At times, Simms frames the readymade in strangely shamanistic displays, such that the found object in the gallery appears preordained, rather than decontextualized.

Simms’ debut exhibition with Martos Gallery will survey over thirty years of production, examining the full range of his visual vocabulary: from his earliest assemblage in twine to his newest, large-scale drawings. Suspended from the ceiling with images on each side, these recent works are inspired by aboriginal artwork in their structural integration of natural objects. The exhibition will also highlight some of Simms’ lesser-known sculptures integrating feathers; porcupine quills; toy cars and horses in varying scales; antique but functional fans; discarded dress forms; and rocks collected from around the world. This diversity of scraps and specimens is brought together with Simms’ unique methods and formal clarity, often as tributes to loved ones, intimations of stored memories, and decisively contemporary quotations of ceremonial and art historical formats.

Arthur Simms is the recipient of many prestigious grants and awards including The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2007); The American Academy of Arts and Letters (2006); The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (1999/2000); Prix de Rome (2002/2003); The Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant (1997); and many others. He is Program Director and Professor of the Arts at CUNY, LaGuardia Community College, New York. Simms also serves on the Board of Directors of MacDowell, Peterborough, NH, and the Board of Governors of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME. Recent exhibitions include Throughline, Shoot the Lobster, New York (2019); and the 58th Venice Biennale (2019). Arthur Simms will participate in the Kingston Biennial this summer.

Arthur Simms, And I Say, Brother Had A Very Good Day, One Halo, Martos Gallery, New York

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2021. All Rights Reserved

Arthur Simms, Studio view, Staten Island, New York, 2021

Arthur Simms, Studio view, Staten Island, New York, 2021