Parra & Romero is pleased to present the first solo show by the artist Adam Pendleton at its space in Ibiza. Titled Whole Fragments, the show features a group of new pieces made specifically for the gallery space. Images and texts, which have served as source material for Pendleton's work for the past ten years, are represented in the exhibition.
Pendleton is a conceptual artist known for his multi-disciplinary practice, which includes painting, silkscreen, collage, publishing, video and performance. His work engages with language, both figuratively and literally, as well as the re-contextualization of history. Through his work, Pendleton seeks to establish "a future dynamic where new historical narratives and meanings can exist."
At the center of the exhibition are four new paintings based on a series of collages that layer and abstract the phrase: A VI CTIM OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY, Malcolm X's loose definition of 'a nigger.' By disrupting the burden of representation between image and text, the paintings function as a departure point for framing past and potential histories, creating what the artist calls a "site of engagement."
In the monumental, text-based mural, Notes on Black Dada Nihilismus (proper nouns), 2009, Pendleton draws language from writer and poet Amiri Baraka's 1964 poem Black Dada Nihilismus, retaining only fifteen proper nouns from the original text. Through this simple gesture Pendleton generates a new text with its own conceptual and linguistic potential. The nouns become a rich associative list connecting Mondrian to Jesus, Willie Best to W.E.B. Du Bois. At turns both humorous and illogical the work questions the immediate legibility of meaning and the intended function of historical weight.
The show also includes three pieces from Pendleton's System of Display series. These works feature an image and text drawn from the pages of books from the artist's vast library. The images, silkscreened on mirror, float behind text (usually a single letter) that stands to represent a word, which is revealed in the work's title. Rather than neatly document a historical moment or work of art, System of Display serves to document forms of discourse themselves. The individual subjects recede; conventional hierarchies are undone by the artist's system of organization. "Increasingly, I am starting to look at the work that uses historical imag es as one complex image or network, "explains Pendleton. "I am working to establish a system of display, of organization. I want to create a situation where we're inclined to rethink notions of the past and the future, as well as our ability to understand them enough to make reductive statements." As in many of his works, Pendleton's use of a reflective surface invites the viewer into the historical image itself, reanimating the image's negative space with the vitality of the present moment.
Adam Pendleton (1984, United States) lives and works in New York. Pendleton has been included in significant exhibitions in America and Europe for over a decade. Recently he opened his solo exhibition Becoming Imperceptible at the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, show that will travel to the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver in July 2016. His recent shows include the Belgian Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia and the Palais de Tokyo's La Triennale (2012). Other important exhibitions are Adventure of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915–2015 (2015), Whitechapel Gallery, London;
The Disappearance of the Fireflies, Collection Lambert, Avignon, France (2014); Love Story - Anne and Wolfgang Titze Collection,
21er Haus and Winter Palace, Vienna, Austria (2014); Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2014); Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012); Greater New York, P.S.1
Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York (2010); The Generational: Younger Than Jesus, New Museum, New York
(2010); Afro- Modernism: Journeys through the Black Atlantic, Tate Liverpool (2010); Manifesta 7, Trentino-South Tyrol, Italy (2008); Talk Show, Institute of Contemporary Art, London (2007); Resistance Is, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2007); Frequency, Studio Museum of Harlem, New York (2005-06); and Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art Since the 1970s, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2005).
His work is included in the collections of Tate Modern, London; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Studio Museum in Harlem, New York.