Adam Pendleton: Becoming Imperceptible, is the largest solo presentation of the artist’s work to date. Including film, wall paintings, ceramics, and silkscreens from the past eight years, the exhibition presents Pendleton’s work as a collision between aesthetic and historical concerns. Drawing upon landmark literary texts as well as works from the history of modern art, Pendleton’s work references political and cultural movements of the 20th century such as the pre-war Avant-Garde, the Civil Rights Movement, Minimalism, and Conceptualism.
The exhibition’s title, “Becoming Imperceptible,” suggests how Pendleton’s work, in borrowing from so many other sources, operates as a counter-portrait. In contrast to traditional portraits, which contextualize a subject within a setting or against a background, Pendleton’s works abstract the people, literature, films, and words they depict. With collage, layering, and repetition, among other formal techniques, Pendleton distorts his subjects, prompting the viewer to recognize and reconsider familiar cultural referents and perceive them anew.
Adam Pendleton: Becoming Imperceptible features a selection of the artist’s Black Dada Paintings (2008—), Black Lives Matter Paintings (2015), and code poems (2016), as well as a three-screen installation of My Education: A Portrait of David Hilliard (2011–2014). Adam Pendleton was born in 1984 in Richmond, Virginia. He attended the Artspace Independent Study Program in Pietrasanta, Italy (2000–2002), and his work has been shown internationally since that time. He lives and works in Germantown and Brooklyn, New York.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website
Whether you go or not, the exhibition catalog, Adam Pendleton: Becoming Imperceptible, follows the logic of Pendleton’s museum installations, constructing social and aesthetic histories, comprised of images in process and inscribed in the structure of their container. Drawing on a diverse archive that traverses European, African and American avant-gardes and civil rights movements of the last century―from Dada and Bauhaus to Black Lives Matter literature, from Language poetry to Black Power poetics, from conceptual art to African Independence movements ― Becoming Imperceptible frames a complex dialogue between culture and system.