After studying classical music for several years, Charles Gute shifted his focus to visual art. In 1988 he received an MFA from the New Genres department of the San Francisco Art Institute. In his second year at SFAI he was awarded the Jack K. and Gertrude Murphy Fine Arts Fellowship, given by the San Francisco Foundation. Following graduate school, Gute participated in numerous group shows at venues including New Langton Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Christopher Grimes Gallery, and the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, where his Beethoven needlepoint series was featured in the West Coast edition of the New Museum’s “Bad Girls” exhibition.
His first solo exhibition, in 1990 at The Lab in San Francisco, received critical praise and lead to a solo show and representation at Mincher/Wilcox Gallery the following year. In 1991 he won the San Francisco Arts Commission’s “Exploration: City Site” public art commission, for which he created a site-specific work near City Hall. From 1998 to 2003 he was represented by Patricia Sweetow Gallery in San Francisco.
In 2003 and again in 2004 Gute was a MacDowell Colony Fellow. In 2004 he was part of the group exhibition “The Lineaments of Gratified Desire” at Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco, where he presented Art and Objecthood Redux, a large-scale work that is now in the permanent collection of the Berkeley Art Museum.
In 2005 Gute he received a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship and attended a Jentel Foundation residency in Wyoming, where he worked on B-58, a land art project still in progress. In fall of 2006 a solo exhibition of the “Revisions and Queries” series was presented at Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco. This body of work would later be published in a hardcover monograph by The Ice Plant in Los Angeles and distributed by DAP. In 2007 he began working with Galerie Feinkost in Berlin and Jason Rulnick Gallery in New York, where he was included in the group exhibition “Conceptualism.” In 2008 Rulnick inaugurated a new exhibition space with Gute’s solo show “Find-A-Text,” which was accompanied by a catalogue raisonné in the form of a mass-market puzzle book.
Gute’s work has been written about in Frieze, ARTnews, Flash Art, Art+Auction, Artforum, NY Arts and The Art Newspaper. He has also created original artist’s projects for a number of publications including Fillip Review, Frieze, and Art Lies. In the summer of 2009 he presented a new large-scale outdoor work at Socrates Sculpture Park in New York, and in 2010 he received a VLA Art/Law Residency Fellowship. Recent solo exhibitions include “Scripts for Art” at Walden Affairs in The Hague in 2011 and “Recent Works on Paper” at Catharine Clark Gallery in New York, 2013. In 2016 he will be included in Manifesta 11, to be held in Zurich.