March 11 – April 22, 2023
291 Grand Street, New York 10002
Alexandre is pleased to present Pat Adams: Large Paintings. Including a selection of eight works made in the 1970s – 2000s, this marks the first-ever exhibition dedicated to Adams’ large-scale canvases and provides a unique opportunity to see the artist’s metaphysical mixed-media paintings measuring 100 inches or more in width.
Called the “Jan van Eyck of postwar American abstraction” by Roberta Smith (2022), who named her 2022 exhibition one of the best of the spring, Adams creates her works by drawing from her own poetic language of geometric forms and layered materiality. Circles, curves, lines, squares, and various spherical variations rendered in colored pigments mixed with sand, mica, eggshells, and other materials dance across her canvases. Adams’ language is also revealed in her titles, writings, and talks, in which she describes the qualities she strives to achieve in her work: “quidity or whatness, richesse, towardness, involuntary affect, slowing, apparency, delayed closure, autogenous bursts.”
At once precise and expansive, Adams’ paintings are a representation of the artist’s intense focus on visuality and the psychology of perception - how we see, feel, and comprehend the world. The physiology of aesthetics has been a lifelong interest, and in particular, the embedding of sensation and where that comes from. This worldview developed during her upbringing and education in California, where, in addition to fine art, she studied anthropology, paleontology, psychology, and physics, which impressed on her both the complexity of the phenomenal world, and the significance of primary, intrinsic constructs in how we perceive and comprehend that world.
“Pat Adams: Large Paintings” will be accompanied by a digital catalogue featuring new scholarship by art critic and historian John Yau.
Pat Adams (b. 1928, California) lives and works in Bennington, Vermont. She studied painting at UC Berkeley from 1945 – 49, where she first encountered the ideas of Hans Hofmann as she studied under his former students. After graduating from Berkeley in 1949, Adams moved to New York, where she began to study the paintings of Kandinsky and Mondrian at the Guggenheim and the works of Jackson Pollock at the Museum of Modern Art. She attended classes at the Brooklyn Museum Art School where she studied with Max Beckmann, John Ferren and Reuben Tam. She received her first solo exhibition in 1954 at the Korman Gallery - later to be renamed the Zabriskie Gallery, which would continue to represent her through 2018.
Her lengthy career has also included many teaching appointments including Bennington College, where she joined the social circle of the famous “Green Mountain Boys,” including Kenneth Noland and Jules Olitski, and continued to teach from 1964 through 1993. She also received teaching appointments at Yale from 1990 – 1996, as both a visiting professor and artist, as well as the Rhode Island School of Design, among numerous other institu- tions across the country. She has received notable awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Academy of Design, and the College Art Association. In 1995 she was awarded the Vermont Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. Her work has been the subject of over fifty solo exhibitions.