Claude Simard (1956-2014) was an artist, gallerist, and an influential figure within the international art community. Co-founder of the Jack Shainman Gallery in Manhattan, Simard 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.
The exhibition features a large selection of examples from Simard’s collection, acquired both abroad and from within the United States. The diversity of the works is unparalleled, from medium to country of origin to subject matter. Many of the contemporary artists in the exhibition focus on issues of identity and the multiplicity of forces that shape artists and art. As a whole, this exhibition helps construct an understanding of Claude Simard himself as well as the collective, cumulative, and enduring global web of art.