Featured twice in Forbes' 30 Under 30 list, Adam Pendleton (American b. 1984) has recently garnered attention as an artist whose work speaks to socio-political issues of the moment. The foundation of Pendleton's work is the Black Dada Manifesto, which he wrote in 2008. The text combines blackness and Dada, a nonsense word referring to the absurdist movement that developed in response to the devastation of World War I. Dadaists created illogical artwork in order to critique the systems of society that lead to war. Similarly, Pendleton employs irrationality as a means of re-envisioning race in America. In the artist's words: "Black Dada is a way to talk about the future while talking about the past. It is our present moment."
With an eye to both historical and current events, the multi-disciplinary artist addresses race through painting, collage, sculpture, video, publishing, and performance. In his two-dimensional work, he re-contextualizes history by transforming pictures and language sourced from books and films.
In the Contemporary Wing's Front Room Gallery, Pendleton will present floor-to-ceiling vinyl works on three gallery walls overlaid with nine paintings, collages, and screenprints from his ongoing series.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.
Whether or not you go, 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. This artist’s book, the first in a Siglio collection accompanying exhibitions at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, embodies Pendleton’s practice by inviting the reader in an unfolding conversation about race and history, art and form.