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Adam Pendleton unveils new site-specific work, Elements of Me, at the Gardner Museum
Adam Pendleton: Elements of Me, 2020. Photo: Stewart Clements Photography and Design.



BOSTON, MASS.- The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is presenting a new site-specific installation by 2008 Artist-in-Residence Adam Pendleton. The work, titled Elements of Me, opened in the Museum’s Fenway Gallery on February 13, 2020.

Adam Pendleton is a returning Artist-in-Residence to the Gardner Museum. Pendleton is known for work animated by what he calls “Black Dada,” a critical articulation of blackness, abstraction, and the avant-garde. As described in his own words, he uses “radical juxtapositions, to disrupt established history and open up new potential associations.”

Drawing from an archive of language and images, Pendleton makes “conceptually rigorous and formally inventive paintings, collages, videos, and installations that insert his work into broader conversations about history and contemporary culture.”

Pendleton has transformed the Fenway Gallery into an immersive, room-sized installation where three primary shapes—square, triangle, and circle—act as refrains, creating and framing abstract space. These spaces exist as “neutral” black areas in dialogue with the language and images collected in the artist’s works on Mylar and in System of Display, a series of sculptural glass-and-mirror works. These works refuse straightforward interpretation, gently probing the history of visual display and the shifting status of foreground versus background.

Adam Pendleton has also created an artist’s book titled Elements of Me to accompany the exhibition. It is a clothbound hardcover of 48 pages printed by die Keure, Belgium.

Adam Pendleton is a New York-based artist known for work animated by what the artist calls “Black Dada,” a critical articulation of blackness, abstraction, and the avant-garde. Drawing from an archive of language and images, Pendleton makes conceptually rigorous and formally inventive paintings, collages, videos, and installations that insert his work into broader conversations about history and contemporary culture.

In 2013 Pendleton was the second artist invited to create a work for the Gardner’s public art space on the façade of the New Wing. Untitled: (Fang Man from the Upper Ivindo Area, Northern Gabon, 1905-6/Furnishing Fabric, French or Italian, 1725-50 featured an early 20th-century photographic portrait of an African man set against an 18th-century European silk damask from the Gardner’s collection.

Pendleton’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, notably at the Walker Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Studio Museum, New York; the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin; and the Tate Liverpool. Biennials and exhibitions include Gwangju Biennale, South Korea, Greater New York, MoMA/PS1, Long Island City, New York; The Generational: Younger Than Jesus, New Museum, New York; Performa 07, New York; Manifesta 7, Trentino-South Tyrol, Italy; Object, The Undeniable Success of Operations, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Hey Hey Glossolalia, Creative Time, New York; Manifesto Marathon at The Serpentine Gallery, London; The Future as Disruption, The Kitchen, New York; Talk Show, ICA, London; Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock n' Roll since 1967, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago; After 1968: Contemporary Artists and the Civil Rights Legacy, High Museum, Atlanta; and ELTDK Amsterdama three-part exhibition organized by Kunstverein and de Appel, Amsterdam in 2009.










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