’Becoming Imperceptible’: Adam Pendleton in New Orleans
Conceptual artist Adam Pendleton will open his largest museum solo show – ’Adam Pendleton: Becoming Imperceptible’ – at Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans on 1 April. Pendleton, known for his paintings exploring politics and language through historical and modernist imagery, is once again addressing race and the influence of Black Lives Matter in the US.
Pendleton, at 31, was the youngest artist to represent the Belgian Pavilion at last year’s Venice Biennale and is included in the permanent collections of top museums around the world (MoMA among them). As an obsessive reader with a vast library, his work is full of references to poets and writers, from Amiri Baraka to WEB Du Bois to Adrian Piper.
This latest show addresses race and socio-economic standing through subtler messaging. His work, so often facing African-American political and social history, is particularly New Orleans appropriate for this reason; and the Contemporary Arts Center, located in the city’s Warehouse Arts District, is devoting all three floors of its galleries to Pendleton for an offering that includes film, wall paintings, ceramics and silk screens – an indication of the show’s thematic importance to the city and its people.
’I’m interested in the art object as a site of engagement, and the infinite possibilities of what can happen when images, ideas and people that are traditionally looked at separately merge in this space,’ says Pendleton. ’Black Lives Matter is arguably a global movement that is actively reshaping our view of our recent past and future contingencies.’