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Adam Pendleton

Consortium Museum, Dijon (solo show)
13 March – 18 October 2020

Installation view: Consortium Museum, Dijon, 2020. Photo: Rebecca Fanuele © Consortium Museum
Installation view: Consortium Museum, Dijon, 2020. Photo: Rebecca Fanuele © Consortium Museum

Adam Pendleton is a multidisciplinary conceptual artist whose work includes installation, performance, video, and text. He recontextualizes various art historical movements, from Dada to Minimalism to contemporary ballet and literature, combining them with elements highlighting historical figures and events of the civil rights era and the Black Power movement, from Martin Luther King to Malcom X and Stokely Carmichael, as well as today’s Black Lives Matter movement.

His practice is centered on the concept of “Black Dada” borrowed from Black Dada Nihilismus, a 1964 poem by political activist, poet, playwright, and jazz writer Amiri Baraka (1934-2014, formerly known as Leroi Jones). Yet Black Dada is an ever-evolving concept for Pendleton, a space in which viewers can establish new relationships to both language and image, where the body occupies both a physical and intellectual site. It allows the artist to find ways to deconstruct, reconfigure, and reimagine existing images and texts into something new, aligning aesthetics and political distinctions.

Pendleton’s art, which formally relates to modernist painting and the history of the monochrome, is often characterized by a limited palette of shades of black, white, and gray, combining texts and abstract motifs and using techniques such as enlarged Xeroxes, spray paint, digital prints and silkscreen prints. These feature in paintings as well as large-scale installations. He quotes variously from writers and poets such as Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, June Jordan, Adrienne Rich, Joan Retallack, Ron Silliman, Leslie Scalapino, and Charles Bernstein. His work broadly strives to find a “way to talk about the future while talking about the past,” but also to create a productive overlap between language, conceptual art, lyrical poetry, and social and political activism.

For me, the object itself is not finite or complete. It’s really a point of departure. It’s this idea I always come back to, which is about viewing the object as a site of engagement. I’m interested in finding a mid-space location, which is maybe how revolutions start.

For his exhibition at the Consortium Museum, the first ever solo show devoted to his work in France, he will present a new monumental artwork specifically conceived for its “White Box” space, an installation designed to unveil What Is Your Name? Kyle Abraham, A Portrait, 2018-2019, a single channel video in which interviews the choreographer and 2013 recipient of a McArthur Fellowship (commonly known as a “genius” grant). This brand-new work is a continuation of earlier video portraits Pendleton made of former Black Panther Party Chief of Staff David Hilliard and artist Lorraine O’Grady, which are in part influenced by Gertrude Stein’s textual self-portraits, furthering Pendleton’s interest in language as material.

Consortium Museum


Additional:

Adam Pendleton et al.

To Be Determined (group show)
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas
27 September – 27 December 2020

Adam Pendleton, Untitled (WE ARE NOT), 2019. Dallas Museum of Art, TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art Fund, 2020.17. Courtesy of the artist
Adam Pendleton, Untitled (WE ARE NOT), 2019. Dallas Museum of Art, TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art Fund, 2020.17. Courtesy of the artist

To Be Determined juxtaposes works from many centuries, geographies, and cultures to trace how the significance of art can shift when presented in new contexts. Drawn from the DMA’s global collection, the exhibition features works of art, sacred objects, and design from the 13th century to the present, including 13 new acquisitions and important paintings by Dallas-based artists. To Be Determined affirms the resilience of individuals and communities through evocative—and occasionally unexpected—groupings of works that resonate with current and historical struggles.

Organized through collaboration among the DMA’s entire curatorial team, the exhibition explores what it means to be present with works of art after extended time apart. It shines a light on how viewers create their own meaning for the works they engage with. To Be Determined takes an audience-centered, open-ended approach to interpretation, encouraging viewers to make personal connections.

Dallas Museum of Art


Adam Pendleton

Adam Pendleton – Signed Edition (publication)

The first encompassing publication on the work of the groundbreaking American artist Adam Pendleton, published by Phaidon, is now available for pre-order.

Adam Pendleton's original and powerful body of work has been described as the embodiment of a new era. His multifaceted projects, which include painting, collage, film, and publishing, re-contextualize historical and theoretical positions on abstraction, blackness, and the avant-garde. Working predominantly in black-and-white, Pendleton often creates 'total works' that envelop viewers and push the limits of contemporary discourse.

Phaidon



Adam Pendleton et al.

Yesterday's Tomorrow: Selections from the Rose Collection, 1933 – 2018 (group show)
Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham
7 February – 20 November 2020

Installation view: Yesterday's Tomorrow: Selection from the Rose Collection, 1933–2018, Rose Art Museum, 2020. Photo: Charles Mayer
Installation view: Yesterday's Tomorrow: Selection from the Rose Collection, 1933–2018, Rose Art Museum, 2020. Photo: Charles Mayer

Despite language used to describe it, the past is rarely stilled within the fixed frame of retrospective distance. Instead, defying attempts at neat chronology, the past resurfaces and evolves in the expanding now. Images and narratives echo at the edges of the present and shade visions of the future. Interwoven with and twisted by current events and shifting perspectives, individual and collective understandings of history are forever in flux.

This presentation from the collection brings together works by artists who wrestle with, and create room for, such circuitous trajectories. Reckoning with complexities, atrocities, and losses both recent and removed, these artists confront the challenge of giving shape to subjects which resist direct representation, and locating their own place within the imprint of broad and tangled influences. Eschewing the inflexible formats of traditional monumentality, the objects in this exhibition open onto layered narratives, making room for history’s multiplicities and giving space to the subjective and intimate sway of memory. In doing so, they mirror the slippery footing with which we navigate our standing both in relation to an envisioned yesterday and an imagined tomorrow.

Rose Art Museum



Adam Pendleton et al.

Mapping the Collection (group show)
Museum Ludwig, Cologne
20 June – 11 October 2020

Adam Pendleton, Still from Just back from Los Angeles: A Portrait of Yvonne Rainer, 2016–2017. © Adam Pendleton
Adam Pendleton, Still from Just back from Los Angeles: A Portrait of Yvonne Rainer, 2016–2017. © Adam Pendleton

The ex­hi­bi­tion Map­ping the Col­lec­tion takes a new look at two in­flu­en­tial de­cades in Amer­i­can (art) his­to­ry: the 1960s and 1970s. The ex­hi­bi­tion pre­sents a se­lec­tion of art­works from the Mu­se­um Lud­wig’s col­lec­tion by fe­male, queer, and in­dige­nous artists as well as artists of col­or who are not rep­re­sent­ed in the col­lec­tion, as an im­pe­tus for a broad­er re­cep­tion of Amer­i­can art. The po­lit­i­cal and so­cial events and de­vel­op­ments of th­ese two de­cades form the back­ground against which our West­ern Eu­ro­pean con­cep­tion and re­cep­tion of Amer­i­can art his­to­ry is crit­i­cal­ly ques­tioned.

From a Eu­ro­pean per­spec­tive, when we think of the 1960s and 1970s in the Unit­ed States we main­ly re­mem­ber the Afri­can-Amer­i­can civ­il rights move­ment, the as­sassi­na­tions of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., and the protests against the Viet­nam War. How­ev­er, we know lit­tle about the Brown Berets, the ac­tivists of the Amer­i­can In­dian Move­ment, or the be­gin­n­ings of gay lib­er­a­tion. Char­ac­teris­tic ex­am­ples of art from this pe­ri­od in­clude works by Andy Warhol, Roy Licht­en­stein, Do­n­ald Judd, Robert Smith­son, Robert Rauschen­berg, and Robert In­dia­na. Afri­ca­nAmer­i­can artists, on the other hand, are bare­ly pre­sent in the nar­ra­tive of twen­ti­eth-centu­ry Amer­i­can art, and in­dige­nous or Lat­inx artists even less so. Yet they of course al­so made im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tions to the de­vel­op­ment of art and cul­ture in the Unit­ed States.

In ad­di­tion to art works by th­ese renowned artists from the Mu­se­um Lud­wig’s col­lec­tion, Map­ping the Col­lec­tion al­so fea­tures works by less­er-known artists, such as David Wo­j­narow­icz and Leon Polk Smith, who are al­so rep­re­sent­ed in the col­lec­tion, along­side loans of works by Sen­ga Nen­gu­di, Adrian Piper, and T.C. Can­non (Kiowa/Cad­do). The aim is on the one hand to show how artists re­act­ed to the so­cial and po­lit­i­cal de­vel­op­ments of th­ese two de­cades and, on the other hand, to de­mon­s­trate that for­mal and stylis­tic de­vel­op­ments and the exchange of ideas did not stop at the boun­daries of gen­der and race. This com­bi­na­tion al­so brings pre­vi­ous­ly over­looked con­nec­tions and al­liances among artists and be­tween artists and ac­tivists to the sur­face, which de­mon­s­trates that art al­ways re­mains con­nect­ed to the so­cial and po­lit­i­cal con­text of its cre­a­tion. At the same time, it un­der­s­cores the ob­s­ta­cles faced by artists from in­dige­nous, Afri­can-Amer­i­can, and other margi­nal­ized com­mu­ni­ties, as well as the in­flu­ence that artists’ back­ground—in re­gard to race, so­cial class, and gen­der—has on the re­cep­tion and un­der­s­tand­ing of art.

Map­ping the Col­lec­tion draws from femi­n­ist and queer dis­cours­es and ques­tions the fa­miliar (art) his­tor­i­cal canon. But settler colo­nial the­o­ries are ex­plored as well, tak­ing the col­oniza­tion of the Amer­i­can conti­nent and the con­comi­tant geno­cide of in­dige­nous peo­ples as its point of de­par­ture. Through the ad­di­tion of archi­val ma­te­rial, the works from the col­lec­tion are “re”con­nect­ed to the his­tor­i­cal, po­lit­i­cal, and so­cial con­text of their cre­a­tion. This pro­duces new links be­tween artists, works, and art his­to­ry. But the ex­hi­bi­tion al­so ex­amines the role of the mu­se­um it­self in the cre­a­tion and af­fir­ma­tion of th­ese (art) his­tor­i­cal nar­ra­tives. Map­ping the Col­lec­tion rais­es ques­tions about rep­re­sen­ta­tion and agen­cy that are as rel­e­vant to­day as they were then—in the Unit­ed States and in Ger­many.

Museum Ludwig


Adam Pendleton

Elements of Me (solo show)
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
13 February – 15 November 2020

Installation view: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, 2020. Photo: Stewart Clements Photography and Design
Installation view: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, 2020. Photo: Stewart Clements Photography and Design

Adam Pendleton’s exhibition considers the relations between (geometric) abstraction, blackness, and languages of collectivity. Three basic shapes—square, triangle, and circle—are the refrains in this room-sized installation.

Pendleton is a New York-based artist known for work animated by what the artist calls “Black Dada,” a critical articulation of blackness, abstraction, and the avant-garde. Drawing from an archive of language and images, Pendleton makes conceptually rigorous and formally inventive paintings, collages, videos, and installations that insert his work into broader conversations about history and contemporary culture. His work is held in public collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and Tate, London, among others.


Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum


Urs Fischer, Adam Pendleton et al.

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler (group show)
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv
17 December 2019 – 26 December 2020

Adam Pendleton,
Adam Pendleton, "Untitled (masks)", 2019. © Adam Pendleton. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Max Hetzler Berlin | Paris | London. Photo: Andy Romer

Mirosłav Bałka – Jean-Michel Basquiat – Max Ernst – Urs Fischer – 
Rashid Johnson – Michael Joo – Adam McEwen – Adam Pendleton 
– Ugo Rondinone – Henry Taylor

This small-scale group exhibition borrows its name from the title of Italo Calvino’s novel, published in 1979, towards the end of the Italian author’s life (1923–1985). If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler was written as an act of wandering through reading, during which the author leads us through various tales that remain unfinished, and never become a coherent plot together. It is written in the second person, making us, the readers, not only his companions on the literary journey but actual protagonists of the reading course. Inspired by the novel, the exhibition “If on a winter’s night a traveler” (in Hebrew it is a female traveler) aims to offer the viewer a journey following observation of art. The viewer (that is, you) is invited to wander along, opposite, beside and around 13 works of art created by ten artists: two lived and worked in the 20th century, the others live and work in the early 21st century. 
The links between the works will hopefully be revealed along the journey: questions of identity, masculinity (old and new), cruelty (between people and in relation to nature), figuring the humanbody and the way in which cultures nurture and enrich each other. “If on a winter’s night a traveler” invites you to wander through the gallery and compose your own story of the exhibition from layers of clues, meanings and sub-plots that the works bring forth.

Tel Aviv Museum of Art