Recital brings together a selection of work from the past 30 years by artist and musician Terry Adkins. Combining sculpture and live performance, Adkins has described his approach to art-making as being similar to that of a composer. His sculptures re-purpose and combine a range of materials, such as fiberglass propellers, wooden coat hangers, parachute fabric, and a variety of musical instruments in a process that the artist calls “potential disclosure,” which aims to reveal the dormant life in inanimate objects.
During performances with members of his Lone Wolf Recital Corps, Adkins activates these objects through improvisational playing and singing, spoken word, costumes, and recorded sound. These events intend to uphold the legacies of immortal and enigmatic figures such as Bessie Smith, John Brown, Sam Lightnin’ Hopkins, Matthew Henson, and John Coltrane, among others. Adkins not only resuscitates individuals from historical erasure, but also sheds light on willfully neglected or ignored aspects in the lives of well-known figures, such as Ludwig van Beethoven’s possible Moorish ancestry or Jimi Hendrix’s military service as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne.
Terry Adkins Recital is curated by Ian Berry, Dayton Director of The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, in collaboration with the artist.
Join us on Saturday, January 12 for an opening reception and artist conversation with curators Naomi Beckwith of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and Hamza Walker of the Renaissance Society, artists Dawoud Bey and Theaster Gates, Tang Museum director Ian Berry, and Northwestern art history professor Huey Copeland. Reception at 2 pm; discussion at 3 pm. Unfortunately, the live webcast of this event has been cancelled.
Video: Terry Adkins discusses the enigmatic figures that have influenced him and his work. Courtesy of the Tang.
Exhibition support is provided by the Myers Foundations, Carlyle Anderson Endowment, Kessel Fund at the Block Museum and Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.