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Adam Pendleton

Adam Pendleton My Education: A Portrait of David Hilliard, 2011-2014. 3-channel video.

Adam Pendleton My Education: A Portrait of David Hilliard, 2011-2014. 3-channel video.

Installation view.

Installation view.

Adam Pendleton My Education: A Portrait of David Hilliard, 2011-2014. 3-channel video.

Adam Pendleton My Education: A Portrait of David Hilliard, 2011-2014. 3-channel video.

Adam Pendleton My Education: A Portrait of David Hilliard, 2011-2014. 3-channel video.

Adam Pendleton My Education: A Portrait of David Hilliard, 2011-2014. 3-channel video.

Adam Pendleton Black Sun, 2013-2014. black silicone.

Adam Pendleton Black Sun, 2013-2014. black silicone.

About Adam Pendleton

Adam Pendleton (b. 1984, Richmond, Virginia) is a conceptual artist known for his multi-disciplinary practice, which moves fluidly between painting, publishing, photographic collage, video and performance. His work centers on an engagement with language, in both the figurative and literal senses, and the re-contextualization of history through appropriated imagery to establish alternative interpretations of the present and, as the artist has explained, “a future dynamic where new historical narratives and meanings can exist.”

Pendleton has been the subject of solo exhibitions across the United States and abroad, at institutions including the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (2008); Kunstverein, Amsterdam (2009); The Kitchen, New York (2010); Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2017); Baltimore Museum of Art (2017); MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2018); and Lever House, New York (2018). His 2016 solo exhibition Becoming Imperceptible was organized by the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, and traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, before closing at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Ohio

Press Release

  • Adam Pendleton

    Adam Pendleton's first New York solo exhibition since 2010 features the premiere ofMy Education: A Portrait of David Hilliard, (2011-2014),a piece made possible by SF MoMA.

    New York—Pace Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new works in various media by Adam Pendleton on view at 534 West 25th Street from April 4 to May 3, 2014. An opening will be held on Thursday, April 3 from 6–8 p.m.

    For his first exhibition in New York since 2010, Pendleton will exhibit four new 10-by-5 foot silkscreens on mirror polished stainless steel, a large "painting" made in black silicone as well as a video installation, My Education: A Portrait of David Hilliard, (2011–2014).

    Adam Pendleton is known for his investigations into uses of language and history, through works that reconfigure and shift text and image to challenge accounts recorded by widely accepted chronicles and as a means to present the images and voices of those whose views have gone largely under recognized. He continues this practice in My Education: A Portrait of David Hilliard, a multiple large-screen video installation filmed in Oakland, California in 2011.

    The subject of this work, David Hilliard, is a lecturer, educator, and founding member and former Chief of Staff of the Black Panther Party. In My Education: A Portrait of David Hilliard, Pendleton films Hilliard as he takes the viewer through the Oakland neighborhoods that were home to the Black Panther movement, from the lots, houses, and storefronts where the Black Panthers set up free meal programs for the area’s youth to the site of a fatal gun battle that took place on April 6, 1968, two days after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. That day, in a confrontation between Oakland police and members of the Black Panthers, two policemen were seriously wounded, as were others on both sides of the battle, and Black Panther Treasurer Bobby Hutton was fatally shot. Recorded history states that the Panthers initiated the firefight through an ambush. Hilliard, who was present at the time, states that the Panthers were followed and surrounded by police, who initiated the fight.

    In quiet, contemplative tones and shot in black and white, My Education: A Portrait of David Hilliard uses multiple camera angles to reveal different, contrasting views of the same subjects, and the film raises questions and invites discussion about a fraught moment in American history that continues to ripple through society. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art provided the original funding for My Education: A Portrait of David Hilliard.

    The exhibition will also include four works that look closely at the random and arbitrary disturbances that currents and wind play on the surface of water. The silkscreen ink on mirror polished stainless steel pieces, all from 2014, are studies of pattern and light that, through the reflective media, incorporate the viewer and environment into the oversized panels. Three of the four pieces are untitled, and the last is For David.

    Black Sun (2013-2014) is a work that inverts the expected. Based on a drawing of the sun by the late Sun Ra, the work captures the sun as a series of circles and whirls with jagged spikes that break out through the edges of the star. Cast in black silicone, Black Sun synthesizes the limits of representation and abstraction.

    For nearly ten years, many contemporary thematic exhibitions have included work by Adam Pendleton (b. 1984, Richmond, Virginia). Most recently his work was featured in the touring exhibition, Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, which originated at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2012 – 2013).

    Adam Pendleton has been included in significant exhibitions in America and Europe including the Palais de Tokyo’s La Triennale (2012), where his video installation BAND was presented following its premiere at The Kitchen, New York (2010); Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language, MoMA, New York (2012); Greater New York, MoMA PS1, New York (2010); The Generational: Younger Than Jesus, New Museum, New York (2010); Afro-Modernism: Journeys through the Black Atlantic, Tate Liverpool (2010); Manifesta 7, Trentino-South Tyrol, Italy (2008); After 1968: Contemporary Artists and the Civil Rights Legacy, High Museum of Art, Atlanta (2008); Object, The Undeniable Success of Operations, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2008); Manifesto Marathon, The Serpentine Gallery, London (2008); Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2007); Performa 07, New York (2007); Talk Show, ICA, London (2007); Resistance Is, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2007); Frequency, Studio Museum of Harlem (2005-06); and Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art Since the 1970s, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2005).

    Adam Pendleton’s work is found in numerous public collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; and The University of Chicago, Illinois.

    The artist lives and works in New York City and Germantown, NY.


    For more information about Adam Pendleton, please contact Madeline Lieberberg at 212.421.8987 / For general inquiries, please email; for reproduction requests, email


Ultimately, what a successful portrait does is that it presents the impossibility of summarizing who someone is—how any kind of representation is ultimately a conversation with some form of abstraction. Having spent several hours with David and three years working on this piece, I don't have a view of who he is per se. The piece is about listening, and language and image, so hopefully it moves in many directions at once, and doesn't present a simplistic view of who David Hilliard is.    – Ad

Adam Pendleton will speak on Wednesday, September 25, as part of the Arts, Media, and Technology (AMT) Visiting Artist Lecture Series at Parsons The New School for Design. For more information about the event, click here.