Funtime Unicorn, 2022
Cast aluminum, steel, aluminum alloy, alloy steel coil, stainless steel, and hand painted enamel
43 7/16 x 37 9/16 x 8 inches
Edition of 30, with 10AP
Cool Down Bench, 2023, cast 2023
Fiberglass, epoxy resin, polyurethane paint, single-stage polyurethane clear coat, and radiata pine
18 5/16 x 121 7/8 x 23 inches
Edition of 25, with 3AP
44 x 36 inches
Edition of 3
Centerpiece II, 2015
Charcoal, fabric collage, rhinestone & acrylic paint on paper
24 x 18 inches
Floater 94, 2020
Acrylic paint and fabric on paper
50 x 72 inches
55.5 x 77.5 inches framed
Floater 93, 2020
Acrylic paint and fabric on paper
50 x 100 inches
Floater 97, 2020
Acrylic paint and fabric on paper
50 x 50 inches
55.5 x 55.5 inches frames
Figure in the Urban Landscape 29, 2019.
Acrylic, graphite, ink, fabric on paper, grip tape, model cars on wood panel.
Figure in the Urban Landscape 31, 2019.
Acrylic, graphite, ink, fabric on paper, grip tape, model cars on wood panel.
Fabrication Station #5, 2016
Fabric, metal hanging hardware
72 x 108 inches.
Sitting Pretty, 2015
32 x 48 inches paper
Edition 3 of 10
Upward Mobility, 2014
Mixed media collage on paper
72 x 50 inches, paper
77 x 55 inches, framed
Born in Baltimore in 1970, Derrick Adams is a Brooklyn-based artist whose work spans painting, collage, sculpture, performance, video, and sound. Adams obtained his BFA from the Pratt Institute and MFA from Columbia University. He is also an alumnus of the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. Among other honors, the artist received a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency and Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship. With his oeuvre, Adams probes how identity and personal narrative intersect with American iconography, art history, urban culture, and the Black experience. The artist explores how individuals are shaped by their physical, societal, and historical environs. With sophisticated formal techniques, Adams investigates the fragmentation and manipulation of structure and surface—a method that links him to pioneers such as Henri Matisse, Hannah Höch, and Romare Bearden.
Adams has been the subject of solo exhibitions at institutions such as The Momentary, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville (2021); SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film, Savannah (2020–2021); Hudson River Museum, Yonkers (2020); Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg (2020); The Gallery in Baltimore City Hall (2019); and the Museum of Arts and Design, New York (2018). The artist has mounted public installations commissioned through MTA Arts & Design at the Nostrand Avenue LIRR Station, Brooklyn (2020–ongoing); and RxART at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem (2019–ongoing). His work has been featured in notable group exhibitions, including Textures: The History and Art of Black Hair, Kent State University Museum (2021–2022); Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem (2020), now at the Seattle Art Museum (2021); Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth., National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati (2019), traveled to Washington State History Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Tacoma (2019–2020); and Performa, New York (2015, 2013, 2005). His art resides in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; and the Birmingham Museum of Art, among many others. He has recently established an artist program and residency in his hometown of Baltimore called The Last Resort.
No matter what was happening with the outside world, everything was alright in Chicago last week — especially as digital public art program ART on THE MART inaugurated its fifth season last Friday night by unveiling a short, bright animated feature from Derrick Adams amongst the balmy weather welcoming EXPO CHICAGO. Adams showed work at the art fair with West Town-based Rhona Hoffman Gallery, and installed another “Funtime Unicorn” on Navy Pier, where it went down.
Pegged to EXPO Chicago, we put together a walking tour of four exhibitions for anyone near the Loop in the coming weeks. Each is free.
One might go to an art fair anticipating spectacle, but what I found at Expo Chicago was much more heartening, and deeply Midwestern.
CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago's colorful and visually stunning outdoor art exhibit returns this weekend at Art on the MART.
The core of visual artist Derrick Adams' work is Black joy, showcasing vibrant images and installations that represent a life of leisure that our community deserves. This is best displayed in his famous Funtime Unicorn series celebrating Black joy, love and play. Now the work will be blown-up in a larger-than-life display at Chicago's ART on THE MART.
The 2023 spring season of ART on THE MART kicks off on April 14 with a new commission by acclaimed artist Derrick Adams. This site-specific work, which builds on the artist’s famed Funtime Unicorn project, will be on display from April 27 to May 14.
The artist discusses the politics of representing Black leisure and play in his 'Motion Picture Paintings' series, currently on view at The FLAG Art Foundation, New York
Gagosian has taken on the global representation of Derrick Adams, one of today’s most beloved artists. Adams will have his first show with Gagosian at the gallery’s location in Beverly Hills, California, in September.
His latest exhibition at Rhona Hoffman gallery, titled “…and friends,” as a reference to a range of early educational TV programming usually meant to teach compassion and friendship, features paintings showcasing a Black child with a puppet. Adams reflects on the inflated, abstracted nature of contemporary American and African American reality as seen through television and media—their influence takes center stage whether concealed or unapologetically in-your-face.
“It has to deal with strife and challenges and trying to be optimistic in the face of adversity. And you take all those things into your studio, and you try to do something with them, as an ingredient.”
Brooklyn-based creative Derrick Adams is using his bright and bold pieces to focus on the theme of Black joy — and offering an alternative way to view Black Culture.
Derrick Adams’, I Can Show You Better Than I Can Tell You exhibition at the Flag Art Foundation in New York City is a collection of 16 paintings from his new series Motion Picture Paintings. This collection from Adams comprises freeze-framed moments from movies, his personal life, and even his imagination.
His new paintings, with their perfect planes of color, expand on the theme of “Black Joy,” proving that delight and humor are their own form of resistance.
There’s simply not enough time to see all the art in the world. In CULTURED’s new monthly column, Duly Noted, New York contributing arts editor Jacoba Urist cuts through the noise to tell you about the most important art shows and why you need to see them
CBS2's Dave Carlin profiles a visual artist whose work is now seen in several New York City neighborhoods.
Inside the busiest train station in America, taking a moment to slow down can feel unnatural. But new artwork inside Penn Station combats that feeling by bringing the natural world inside.
Celebrating the richness and vibrancy of Black culture and community.
Themes explored in next summer’s temporary exhibi5on may include diaspora, migra5on, displacement and civic gathering.
This year’s International Fine Print Dealers Association Print Fair features work so eye-catching, it’s easy to forget the medium is sometimes disregarded in the art world.
Upon entrance to the fair, visitors are met with the IFPDA’s large-scale Derrick Adams commission “Eye Candy” (2022), a colorful contemplation of Blackness, masculinity, and consumerism, and a work so eye-catching that it’s easy to forget prints are sometimes disregarded in the art world.
While preparing for "Sweet Spot," his upcoming show at LGDR & Wei in Hong Kong, the artist made the time to create Cultured's next commemorative anniversary cover.
Ahead of unveiling a new commission at the IFPDA Print Fair in New York, Derrick Adams invites us inside his Brooklyn studio.
For the final installment of our social-practice series, we speak to Derrick Adams about his community work beyond the studio.
This is the final interview in a four-part series by Folasade Ologundudu featuring Black artists across generations who work with social practice.
The Manhattan flagship of luxury jewelry giant Tiffany & Co. became the scene for a benefit art auction preview and the launch of a new initiative focused on fostering a more diverse and inclusive jewelry industry through commitment, leadership, and learning. Amid the cases of dazzling precious metals and gemstones, the real glow emanated from the morning's focal point: Derrick Adams' I Shine, You Shine, We Shine, the genesis for the Tiffany Atrium logo.
Titled “Resilience,” the show is curated by Superposition’s founder, Storm Ascher, and invites participating artists to respond visually to the idea of resilience. The exhibition includes framed prints, drawings, and paintings by a range of emerging and established artists including Derrick Adams, Renee Cox, Patrick Alston, and Tariku Shiferaw, among others.
The unicorns have arrived at Rockefeller Center for their summer residency. Last week Derrick Adams was on hand for the unveiling of his delightful public art installation, “Funtime Unicorns,” located within Rock Center’s Channel Gardens. The work spoke to an eager and younger demographic than most of his gallery exhibitions: children.
The Art Production Fund and Rockefeller Center present “Funtime Unicorns,” an interactive sculpture show by New York-based visual artist Derrick Adams set in Channel Gardens and on view through September 9. Adams’s multi-disciplinary art practice has always centered the Black experience through a lens of pop culture, self-image, and humanity, and this newest show—being the debut production of his venture Derrick Adams Editions—invests this idea of Blackness with a mythical, colorful, and playful dimension in an urban setting.
Derrick Adams is broadening his artistic practice through a new venture eponymously dubbed DERRICK ADAMS EDITIONS. Launched yesterday, the first release on the site draws from his Floater series of paintings, by bringing the black unicorn character to life.
Derrick Adams looks to bring Black joy to the heart of Midtown Manhattan with his new Art Production Fund public installation Funtime Unicorns, featuring interactive black unicorn sculptures-cum-playground toys. The figure of the black unicorn first appeared in Adams’s “Floater” painting series, of portraits of Black people resting on pool floats that the artist later fabricated as actual inflatables.
At a time when the country is spinning in circles trying to make sense of race, ward off inhumanity and define social justice, Parks’s artistic heirs are uniquely positioned to shed light, offer guidance and question the status quo. They’re doing so with heartening audacity and blessed urgency.
Derrick Adams moved to New York from Baltimore nearly 30 years ago because there weren’t many opportunities for him as an artist. Now Adams, 52, whose work has been recognized worldwide, wants to create spaces for Black artists in Baltimore, so they won’t have to leave home to find success.
Context is everything in Derrick Adams: Sanctuary, now at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. At a glance, the works are lighthearted—deceptively so, because they were inspired by a practical response to racism.
In Looks, artist Derrick Adams references the immense potential of a wig to alter an appearance and construct a persona. The exhibition, which is on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art through May 29 alongside a survey of art and fashion photography titled The New Black Vanguard (opens May 8), shows nine of Adam’s portraits rendered in the artist’s distinct geometric style evocative of “Benin heads, Kwele masks, Kota reliquary figures,” and other West African masks and sculptures, he says in a statement.
The archive will catalogue local achievements in art, entrepreneurship, and other areas.
A Smithsonian traveling exhibition powerfully dismantles corrosive myths with triumphant portraits and the stories of African American men
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Black American artists often have portrayed racial injustice through images of conflict and suffering. Derrick Adams, a highly acclaimed mid-career New York artist, whose work is the subject of an elegant and seductive exhibition on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art, has taken a different path.
The 52-year-old multidisciplinary artist portrays Black life through images of ravishing beauty that are steeped in his deep knowledge of art history and a commitment to highly polished visual thinking and object-making.
EXPO Offers Limited Edition Derrick Adams Print
EXPO CHICAGO will offer an exclusive print edition by acclaimed artist Derrick Adams in celebration of the fair’s in-person return to Navy Pier, April 7-10. “Silver Lining” is an edition of one hundred and is printed by Tandem Press, publisher of fine art prints, in collaboration with Rhona Hoffman Gallery. “We renewed a tradition of the early Chicago fairs in 2019 by collaborating with artists Nick Cave and Bob Faust and Landfall Press, to publish a limited edition print that commemorated the exposition and supported EXPO CHICAGO’s Curatorial Initiatives programming,” Tony Karman, EXPO president-director says in a release. “We are extremely proud to celebrate the return of our in-person 2022 exposition with this extraordinary new print.” The print is available for advance purchase here and on-site at EXPO CHICAGO.
EXPO CHICAGO the international exposition of contemporary and modern art, today announced an exclusive print edition by acclaimed artist Derrick Adams in celebration of the fair's in-person return to Navy Pier, April 7-10.
Tifrere hopes to add Sam Gilliam and Frank Bowling to her collection this year.
Curator and art advisor Mashonda Tifrere has been collecting art since she was 18, when she signed her first music publishing deal in 1999. Highlights of her music career include being a featured performer on a Jay-Z single and a role as part of the original cast of VH1 reality show Love & Hip Hop: New York.
Derrick Adams’s studio in a partially converted Brooklyn warehouse is a bright, tidy space: white walls, a pair of white sofas. In September, a painting hanging on one of the walls is a peephole into another world altogether: a museum gallery is decked out for a party. There are balloons, and a “Happy Birthday” banner. On the museum wall, in this tableau, is a painting of the movie poster for Mr. Soul, the 2018 documentary about groundbreaking TV producer and talk show host Ellis Haizlip and his program SOUL!, which ran on public television from 1968 to 1973, and threw a spotlight on the Black Arts Movement. In the center of the gallery are two sculptures: the late artist Elizabeth Catlett’s 1955 Target, the bust of an African American man from the collection of the High Museum in Atlanta, and a sculpture of a powerful female figure by Mali’s Bambara people. Both are wearing party hats, and the Bambaran sculpture has a blowout noisemaker in its mouth. The sole human guest at the festivities is a museum security guard, a Black woman, who blows a bright pink celebratory bubble of gum. The piece exudes joy; it is itself a celebration of Black culture.
Isabella Lauria, Associate Vice President, Head of Post-War to Present Sales and Specialist of Christie’s, speaks about Brooklyn-based artist Derrick Adams’ art market.
The artist dedicates this site-specific installation to “the perseverance of Black Americans in their pursuit of happiness.”
The Milwaukee Art Museum exhibition On Site: Derrick Adams features a multimedia wall mural and sculptural installation the artist created specifically for the museum. Featuring important sites of Black culture in Milwaukee, “Our Time Together” (2021) celebrates everyday life on a monumental scale.
For more than a decade, Razor House, the stunning cliffside mansion by architectural designer Wallace E. Cunningham in La Jolla, California, has alternately been described as a “magnum opus,” an “architectural masterpiece,” and “America’s coolest home.” But since purchasing the modernist gem in 2019, Grammy Award–winning singer Alicia Keys and her husband, renowned music producer Kasseem Dean (a.k.a. Swizz Beatz), have preferred to call the home where they and their two sons, Egypt and Genesis, now reside “Dreamland.” Explaining the name, Keys says the expansive, nearly 11,000-square-foot residence, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is rumored to be the inspiration for Tony Stark’s futuristic bachelor pad in the Iron Man movies, is “a place to create dreams and to be bold enough to dream your wildest dream—for us to even be here is a wildest dream.”
A panoramic view shows the entirety of the "Our Time Together mural" at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Derrick Adams' mural, inspired in part by "The Green Book," celebrates the rituals of everyday Black life and leisure.
A newly commissioned large-scale wall mural and sculptural installation will be unveiled October 29 at the Milwaukee Art Museum.
Created by Brooklyn-based artist Derrick Adams, Our Time Together will be a 93-foot work that reframes historical Black narratives.
“In Our Time Together, I highlight Milwaukee by representing commercial and social spaces known within the Black community,” said Derrick Adams. “These dwellings, and those who occupy them, are essential to the cultural, political and creative growth of American society, which is then spread out to a global audience. The installation reflects my respect and admiration for the perseverance of Black Americans in their pursuit of happiness and speaks to transformation, belonging and normalcy.”
THE BALTIMORE MUSEUM OF ART (BMA) recently made a major acquisition announcement. The museum has received a promised gift of 90 works of art by nearly 70 artists from museum patrons Nancy Dorman and Stanley Mazaroff, alongside 175 purchases and gifts made during winter and spring 2021.
Each month, we’re spotlighting an artist we love—and whose work is currently live for bidding on Artnet Auctions. This month: Derrick Adams.
Baltimore-born, Brooklyn-based artist Derrick Adams is recognized for his portraits of scenes from everyday life celebrating Black culture and self-determination. I discuss with Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, founder of Salon 94, about his art market. Her New York City-based art gallery has represented Adams since September 2019.
Just when you thought the mash-up of big money, celebrities, and NFTs could not get any more intense, there’s a new high-profile collaboration in town. To mark the 25th anniversary of hip-hop icon Jay-Z’s first album Reasonable Doubt—which dropped on June 25, 1996—the artist commissioned a work of digital art by sought-after artist Derrick Adams.
Esteemed by museums, curators, collectors, and fellow artists alike, Derrick Adams’s art is now the subject of a booming market, making him one of the most sought-after contemporary artists.
Ideas pour from Derrick Adams, and what’s surprising is how many of them work out. A couple of years ago, around the time that he was making his Floater paintings, depicting Black people lounging on swimming-pool inflatables, he thought, Why not start a creative persons’ retreat where the only obligation would be to appreciate leisure?
It is difficult to explain the erasure of the Black body in imagery linked to American recreation and to expound on the psychological damage of not seeing oneself reflected in the world one inhabits. So much of the experience of being Black in America is born of escape—escaping slavery and servitude and systemic persecution, escaping the pain of generational trauma—that Adams’ paintings feel like an American Dream rendering unabashed Black joy in full saturation. Black joy is the primary aesthetic of the work and it begins a conversation on who is afforded leisure in America, and why. Cleverly, Adams constantly reminds us how race, gender, politics and power dictate our visual culture, and how ecstatic joy only exists in relation to the extremity of violence. But this is not the sole aim of “The Last Resort.”
Music meets the art of Derrick Adams in a recent project from Tandem Press and UW-Madison student composers.
Forbes contributor Chadd Scott speaks to Derrick Adams and Hudson River Museum Director Masha Turchinsky about pervasive images of blackness within Western art and the importance of representing black leisure.
Artnet news reviewed Derrick Adams: Buoyant on view at the Hudson River Museum. Buoyant is the first museum exhibition of Adams’ Floaters series and debuts We Came to Party and Plan (extended through October 18), new related works the artist created during his summer 2019 Rauschenberg Residency. Adams' Floaters depict a world where joy, love, leisure, and even prosaic normalcy play central roles, methodically filling the many voids and omissions in popular visual culture depicting African Americans.
Derrick Adams collaborates with the late fashion designer, Patrick Kelly, by juxtaposing materials from Kelly's archive with his own abstract collages and sculptures. In this exhibition Adams seeks to “talk about fashion, talk about the form, talk about the body without using the figure.”
A review of Derrick Adams: Buoyant at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York. Though the museum is temporarily closed due to COVID-19 viewers can engage virtually with Adams' exhibition on the museum's website.
Adams discusses Where I'm From, his first solo show in his native Baltimore, and his plans to create a "bed and breakfast" artist residency in Baltimore's Waverly neighborhood.
Review of Where I'm From, at the Gallery in Baltimore City Hall.
Review of New Icons at Mary Boone Gallery.
Review of Derrick Adams: Interior Life at Luxembourg & Dayan, New York.
Review of Derrick Adams: Interior Life at Luxembourg & Dayan, New York.
Review of America's Playground at Miami Beach's Faena Hotel.
Derrick Adams unveils a seven-story mural at the Fashion Outlets of Chicago in Rosemont that is inspired by the late fashion designer Patrick Kelly.