Pulling from a wide range of mediums including collage, painting, writing, printmaking, video, and publishing, Adam Pendleton (b. 1984, Richmond, Virginia) utilizes language as his primary tool, recontextualizing appropriated imagery to shed light on underrepresented historical narratives. He is particularly interested in social resistance and avant-garde artistic movements and has synthesized a variety of practices under the rubric of "Black Dada,” a term borrowed from the poet Amiri Baraka. Drawing from a vast array of archives, he incorporates material and aesthetic strategies from sources as diverse as the Black Arts Movement, minimalism, conceptual art, experimental performance, and philosophy. This research results in a visual syntax that is as recognizable as it is flexible, and that allows Pendleton to address the complexities of blackness and race from an expansive set of material and theoretical perspectives. By examining and utilizing language as a visual phenomenon, he reveals the textures of politics and history even as he operates in modes that can be classified as abstract.
In 2021, Pendleton will present Who Is Queen, a major new project in the atrium of The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Other recent solo exhibitions include shows at Le Consortium, Dijon (2020); Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston (2020); MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2018); Baltimore Museum of Art (2017); KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2017); Baltic Center for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, United Kingdom (2017); Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (2017); Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (2016); and Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans (2016). Pendleton’s work is included in the collections of the Dallas Museum of Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and Tate, London, among other institutions. He lives and works in New York.
by Adrienne Edwards