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.
Adam Pendleton. Blackness, White, and Light, the artist's first comprehensive solo exhibition in Europe, will be presented at mumok in Vienna from March 31 through September 11, 2023. Other solo exhibitions of Pendleton’s work have been presented at institutions including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (2022); The Museum of Modern Art (2021); Le Consortium, Dijon, France (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 Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, England (2017); Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (2017); Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (2016); and Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans (2016). In 2022, Pendleton was one of sixty-three artists invited to participate in the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Recent and notable group exhibitions include Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America, New Museum, New York (2021); Manifesto: Art x Agency, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (2019); Public Movement: On Art, Politics and Dance, Moderna Museet Malmö, Sweden (2017); and Personne et les autres, Belgian Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale, Italy (2015). His work is in the permanent collections of the Dallas Museum of Art; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and Tate, London, among other institutions. Pendleton lives and works in New York.
by Adrienne Edwards