Adam Pendleton - AMERICAN AFRICAN AMERICAN New York Friday, February 8, 2019 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    The Artist
    Pace Gallery, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    Born 1984, Richmond, VA
    Lives and works in Germantown and Brooklyn, NY

    2000-2002 Artspace Independent Study Program, Pietrasanta, Italy

    Selected honors: Artspace Independent Study Program, Pietrasanta, Italy (2000-2002)
    Selected exhibitions and performances: Baltimore Museum of Art; Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gatesheard; Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans; and La Triennale at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris
    Selected public collections: Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Tate, London

    Adam Pendleton’s work defies categorization. Fluidly moving between painting, publishing, photography, collage, video and performance, Pendleton creates work that centers on an engagement with language – in both the figurative and literal senses – and the re-contextualization of history through appropriated imagery. Establishing alternative interpretations of the present, Pendleton seeks to create, “a future dynamic where new historical narratives and meanings can exist.” While exploring themes such as the Civil rights era or the recent “Black Lives Matter” movement, Pendleton intentionally creates open-ended works of art that allow for multiple interpretations.

    Within just ten years, Pendleton has risen to one of the most highly regarded artists of his generation. He moved to New York at age 18 with the resolute intention of becoming an artist. “So I sometimes think that I basically went to art school in public,” Pendleton mused in conversation with Allie Biswas in a 2016 Brooklyn Rail interview. “I did my first solo show in New York at Yvon Lambert in 2005, and I did a project at Wallspace in 2004 just before that. I was twenty.” Pendleton’s first came to widespread notice in 2007, when he delivered an impassioned soliloquy about politics and language accompanied with a live gospel choir at Performa, the New York performance art biennial. By 2012, he signed with Pace Gallery at age 28 – making him the youngest artist to do so since the 1970s, and has since featured twice in Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” list.

    On the subject of his remarkable rise to fame, Pendleton remains conscious of the fact that he has a platform that was denied to a generation of Black artists before him, such as Alma Thomas and Jack Whitten. “They are people who continued to make work even when no one was looking,” he pointed out. “In my work, there’s this attitude of ‘take it or leave it,’ but also ‘take what you need'…I think it gets lost that a lot of what I actually do is look and listen, rather than scream and shout.” Speaking of his understanding of the notion of protest in conversation with Thoma Donovan for Bomb Magazine in 2010, he explained, “That’s what protest is: it’s saying that something is not quite right and we are moving toward something else. I hope my work can embody some of that spirit.”



silkscreen ink on mylar
overall dimensions variable
each sheet 38 x 29 in. (96.5 x 73.7 cm.)

Executed in 2018.

Estimate On Request


New York Selling Exhibition 10 January - 8 February 2019