Featured Work

image of We Are Not

We Are Not

Adam Pendleton (Richmond, VA, b. 1984)
Silkscreen ink on Mylar in artist made frames, 15 parts, 2019
Each: 40 3/8 x 31 3/8 x 1 3/4 inches

Exhibited: Who We Art, Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, Germany, April 25 - June 29, 2019

Adam Pendelton’s “We Are Not” uses as its source material a series of three works, “Evil Nigger,” “Crazy Nigger,” and “Gay Guerrilla,” which were created between 1979 and 1980 by Julius Eastman, a New York prodigy and genius, who became one of the most important post- minimal avant-garde composers of the late 20 th century and who died in obscurity in 1990 at the young age of 49.

In these three works by Eastman, four parallel pianos hammer repetitive pulsing lines, with each piano coming in and out of synchronization. Eastman’s compositions proceed according to a principle termed as non-dialectical organicism. The formal imperative of what Eastman considered organic music was for each section of the piece to contain all of the information of the previous sections, or otherwise to subtract information at a gradual and logical rate. The paintings of “We Are Not” present layers of repeating phrases: “WE ARE NOT,” in visual language that reflects Eastman’s aural model. The information is dense, striated in black and white with each painting coming in and out of synchronization.

Adam Pendleton (Richmond, VA, b. 1984) 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. Pendleton’s multilayered visual and lexical fields often reference artistic and political movements from the 1900s to today, including Dada, Minimalism, the Civil Rights movement, and the visual culture of decolonization. His work is held in public collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and Tate, London, among others.