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.”
16 April – 23 May 2015
6 Burlington Gardens, first floor gallery, London, W1S 3ET
London—Pace London is delighted to present New Work, the gallery’s second solo exhibition by the American artist Adam Pendleton. Staged at Pace London, 6 Burlington Gardens, the exhibition will be on view from 16 April to 23 May 2015 and will precede Pendleton’s presentation in the Belgian Pavilion of the 2015 Venice Biennale.
Pendleton’s cross-disciplinary practice draws from experimental literature, Dadaism, Minimalism, and Conceptualism. His work also references African-American political and cultural movements from the 1960s to today, including the Civil Rights, Black Power, and Black Arts Movements.
The exhibition, presented in the first floor gallery, will feature oil on canvas paintings, a large site-specific wall work, a sculptural work, and a silkscreen piece from his INDEPENDANCE series, all of which explore the relationship between politics, language, and race, and consider how history bears on the present.
In his new Black Lives Matter paintings Pendleton responds to the political demonstrations that erupted following the highly publicized deaths of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and Michael Brown. The series’ eponymous phrase became a rallying cry across the United States following the fatal Ferguson, Missouri shooting of Michael Brown, an eighteen-year-old black man, by Darren Wilson, a white police officer.
Pendleton’s new paintings – made with what he describes as a low-tech “painting machine” – have a unique surface that lies between handmade and machine-made. The machine sprays the phrase on an abstract ground, creating a tension between overt and abstract modes of representation. He has also created a wall work that is an enlargement of a collage featuring the phrase “BLACK LIVES MATTER.” These new works echo a sentiment expressed by Judith Butler in the New York Times: “One reason the chant ‘Black Lives Matter’ is so important is that it states the obvious but the obvious has not yet been historically realized.”
Pendleton also continues to expand the visual language of his Black Dada project, whose core paintings depict cropped images of Sol LeWitt’s Incomplete Open Cubes (1974) with isolated letters from the phrase “BLACK DADA.” A sculpture composed of these letters will rest against the walls of the gallery. The sculpture’s mirror-polished steel surface has been silkscreened with pages from the Black Dada Reader, an anthology edited by the artist. This new work brings the letters from his Black Dada paintings into three-dimensional form.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Adam Pendleton (b. 1984, Richmond, Virginia, USA) 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). Other important exhibitions include Adventure of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915–2015 (2015), Whitechapel Gallery, London; The Disappearance of the Fireflies, Collection Lambert, Avignon, France, 2014; Love Story - Anne and Wolfgang Titze Collection, 21er Haus and Winter Palace, Vienna, Austria, 2014; Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2014; Joan Jonas & Adam Pendleton, Galeria Pedro Cera, Lisbon, 2014; We Love Video This Summer, Pace Gallery, Beijing, China, 2014;Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2013); Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012); Greater New York, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, 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, Institute of Contemporary Art, London (2007); Resistance Is, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2007); Frequency, Studio Museum of Harlem, New York (2005-06); and Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art Since the 1970s, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2005).
Pendleton’s Black Dada Reader anthology will be published in spring 2015 by Mousse Publishing and will feature contributions from Adrienne Edwards, Laura Hoptman, Tom McDonough, Jenny Schlenzka, and Susan Thompson.
Pendleton’s work is found in numerous public collections including Tate Modern, London; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Studio Museum in Harlem, New York.
The artist lives and works in New York.