Adam Pendleton: A Mirror into the Present

Have you ever looked at a piece of art and just stopped in your tracks, utterly confused? Well, for certain artists, this is a completely appropriate response. Adam Pendleton’s conceptual art aims to make you ask questions, rather than draw conclusions. Perhaps this is why Artspace refers to him as “a thinking man’s artist.” Regardless of titles, Pendleton has gained much attention from art critics worldwide for his puzzling, yet bold artwork.
Growing up in Virginia, Pendleton’s early experiences with art came from reading poetry that his mother kept around the house. This poetic influence seems highly appropriate, as his work often deals with the connection between language and visual art. According to Gallerist writer M.H. Miller, “[Pendleton’s] interest in language…stems from reading his mother’s books as a child—writers like Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde—as well as admiring the work of other text-based painters like Liam Gillick, Roni Horn and Terry Winters.” Additionally, Pendleton often cites poets Gertrude Stein and Hugo Ball when discussing his interest in linguistic experimentation.

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