Raid the Icebox Now with Adam Pendleton: Heart of the Matter (solo show)
RISD Museum, Providence
24 January 2020 - 19 July 2020
Heart of the Matter features key works from the RISD Museum’s collection by artists that have informed Pendleton’s working process and concept of Black Dada—an articulation of blackness across heterogeneous pasts and futures. New immersive floor-to-ceiling wall works occupy the perimeter of the gallery, surrounding paintings by Wifredo Lam and Ad Reinhardt, wall drawings by Sol LeWitt, and videos by Tony Cokes. The totemic angularity of Lam’s Négritude-influenced Near the Virgin Islands (Près des Îles Vierges), the subtle shifts in dark blue and black in Reinhardt’s No. 18, the ritualistic conceptualist geometries of LeWitt’s Wall Drawings # 327 and 328, and Cokes’s stark, brightly colored typographic videos function as anchor points: tangles of limbs, banded gradients, striated walls, and disembodied language encompassed by collage and disruption. This gathering of different modes of abstraction generates a sense of historical slippage, underscoring uncanny processes of repetition and feedback. Other pieces from the RISD Museum collection assembled in the space include prints by Liam Gillick and photographic work by Adrian Piper.
Adam Pendleton lives and works in New York. His work ranges from large-scale wall works that layer appropriated and edited documents and images from recent history to monochromatic paintings featuring geometric forms and fragments of text to unconventional video “portraits” of individuals. Pendleton’s practice considers how our experience of the world is shaped by the transmission and mediation of visual and written information, while providing methods and strategies by which we might question and interrupt this condition.
Raid the Icebox Now is made possible by a lead grant from the National Endowment for the Arts with support from Taylor Box Company, a generous in-kind gift from Meyer Sound Laboratories, and additional funding from Pace Gallery for Adam Pendleton: The Heart of the Matter. RISD Museum is supported by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and with the generous partnership of the Rhode Island School of Design, its Board of Trustees, and Museum Governors.