Rhona Hoffman Gallery is pleased to present Tell Me Something Good, the gallery’s second solo exhibition of New York-based artist Derrick Adams. Larger than life figures emerge from and shift into a flat ground of bold SMPTE color bars, black and white geometric design, and patterned fabrics in Adams’ nine new works from his “Live and In Color” series. Adams frames the works in a hand-constructed, cardboard vintage television set to reflect the inflated, abstracted nature of contemporary American and African-American reality through the lens of television and media. Pulling from the visual vocabulary of his childhood and upbringing, Adams draws figures inspired by prominent African-American television and comedy stars like Eddie Murphy, Kenan Thompson, LeVar Burton, and Whoopi Goldberg. Fragmented and shifting between foreground and background, the bodies are captured in the midst of a hyper-inflated yet ambiguous expression that begs the viewer to say, “Tell Me Something Good.”
An astute observer of popular and visual culture, Derrick Adams continuously collects patterned cloth fabrics, vibrant colors, and design elements from his familial and urban environment. In the studio he pulls together assorted imagery into mixed-media collage, sculpture, and performance that speaks to the diverse American urban and visual landscape. The new collage works in Tell Me Something Good resonate with the aesthetics of popular culture and also retain deeper references to artists like Romare Bearden and William Johnson as well as art historical movements of Geometric Abstraction, Pop Art, and Performance.
An interdisciplinary artist who works in drawing, collage, painting, sculpture, video, and performance, Derrick Adams received a MFA from Columbia University in New York and BFA in Art & Design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. In 2016 Derrick Adams received the Studio Museum’s prestigious Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize; he is the recipient of a 2009 Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, 2014 S.J. Weiler Award and an honored finalist for the William H. Johnson Prize. Derrick Adams has exhibited nationally and internationally with Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Anne de Villepoix, Paris; Vigo Gallery, London; Tilton Gallery, New York. Institutional solo, group, and performance exhibitions include Greater New York at PS1 MoMA, Queens; On at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn; Tete-a-Tete at Aperture Foundation; Performa biennale; Studio Museum in Harlem; Brooklyn Museum, Bowery Poetry Club, The Kitchen, and Performa Hub, New York. Derrick Adams has upcoming solo exhibitions at the California African American Museum and Studio Museum in Harlem.