A visual philosophy
In his paintings, drawings and other works, Pendleton uses letters, words, drips, splatters, sprays, and collected images as primary materials. His work is a kind of continuous writing, in which language and gestural marks are recorded, transposed and overwritten. Blurring the edges between modes of viewing and reading, between representation and abstraction, and between painting, drawing and photography, Pendleton’s work is a visual philosophy of incomplete postulates. In 2008, he began to articulate his work through the idea of Black Dada, a visual project and ever-evolving inquiry into the relationships between Blackness, abstraction, and the avant-garde.
A moving video portrait
The exhibition also includes the video Just Back from Los Angeles: A Portrait of Yvonne Rainer (2016-2017), a portrayal of pioneering avant-garde dancer, choreographer and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer, filmed in a New York City diner. It features the artist and Rainer in conversation as well as scenes of Rainer performing her iconic dance Trio A (1966) and reading a text prepared by Pendleton that collages writing by activists Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael, poet Ron Silliman and Rainer’s friend Barbara Dilley.
In the media
Adam Pendleton est un philosophe visuel. Un artiste conceptuel, multimédia, multifacettes, qui cherche dans les mots, dans leur sens autant que dans leur graphie et leur esthétique […], l’inspiration pour ses œuvres denses, complexes, aux couches multiples de chaos et de poésie.
The Montreal Gazette
Le Journal de Montréal
ICI Radio-Canada Première, Tout un matin
Credits and curatorial team
An exhibition organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. It is curated by Mary-Dailey Desmarais, Chief Curator, MMFA.
Adam Pendleton. Photo Sangtae Kim. Image courtesy of the artist and Pace
Adam Pendleton (born in 1984), Still from Just Back from Los Angeles: A Portrait of Yvonne Rainer, 2016-2017, single-channel black and white video, 13 min 51 s. Collection of the artist. Image of courtesy of Adam Pendleton