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Adam Pendletons Canada solo show explores fragmentation of language and representation

These Things Weve Done Together at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts MMFA marks Adam Pendletons first solo show in Canada Adam Pendleton born in 1984 Still from Just back from Los Angeles A Portrait of Yvonne Rainer 20162017 singlechannel black and white video 13 min 51 s. Courtesy of the artist American artist Adam Pendleton is presenting paintings from his Untitled WE ARE NOT series alongside brand new pieces for his first solo exhibition in Canada. Pendleton who last year united with David Adjaye for an exhibition at Hong Kongs Pace gallery as well as holding a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art MoMA in New York is now bringing These Things Weve Done Together to Montreal.

Pieces in the exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts MMFA build on the themes Pendleton has explored in previous works riffing off the tension between language and representation which is encapsulated in a clash of textures. Alongside the works from Untitled WE ARE NOT sit seven drawings from his Black Dada series created this year as well as pieces created specifically for this exhibition.Adam Pendleton born in 1984 Untitled WE ARE NOT 2021 Adam Pendleton born in 1984 Untitled WE ARE NOT 2021. Silkscreen ink on canvas. Collection of the artist The paintings are characterised by a clash of layers in spray paint a method with which Pendleton experimented in 2008s Black Dada which marked the beginning of his exploration into the fragmentation of language. These latest Black Dada drawings consider the creation process behind this expression incorporating images of traces of paint left on large sheets of paper hung on his studio walls while he worked.

Pendletons video work Just Back from Los Angeles A Portrait of Yvonne Rainer 20162017 is also on show. Filmed in a New York City diner the film portrays dancer choreographer and filmmaker Rainer and Pendelton in conversation as well as scenes of Rainer performing her dance Trio A 1966. She reads from a text edited by Pendleton which collates writing from activists KeeangaYamahtta Taylor Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael poet Ron Silliman and Rainers friend dancer and choreographer Barbara Dilley.

These Things Weve Done Together
Partial view of the exhibition Adam Pendleton These Things Weve Done Together. Photo MMFA JeanFrançois Brière The new four 20ft paintings form the foundation for the exhibition Pendleton tells us. The questions they pose and the process it took to make them are addressed and utilised in the Black Dada Drawings and the video portrait Just Back From Los Angeles A Portrait of Yvonne Rainer.

All of the works are composed of nodes – gestures words letters marks splatters – acting upon and transforming one another. What interests me most in the particular instance of this show is the question of what might emerge from these transformations in which the gesture passes between movement and stasis in which language passes between abstraction and legibility and in which the mark passes between inscription and circulation. §

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