Pendleton’s video portrait of choreographer, dancer and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer takes centre stage in the exhibition. Just Back from Los Angeles: A Portrait of Yvonne Rainer (2016–17) will be presented in a black box environment in the gallery. Initially commissioned by Performa, the piece features Pendleton and Rainer sharing a meal at Rainer’s favourite Manhattan diner. Through a scripted and unscripted exchange, Pendleton and Rainer reflect on life and work, politics and art, and the relationship between memory and movement. At one point, Pendleton invites Rainer to read from quoted correspondence published in her own memoir, as well as from the writings of Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X, Ron Silliman, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. Later, Rainer shares a movement exercise with Pendleton. The encounter, which traverses lines of generational, racial, and gender difference, is an inquiry into the shared concerns of the two artists.
The titular Our Ideas #2 and #3 (both 2018) are two large groups of framed Mylar transparencies. These works are based on collages that incorporate visual material from various found sources, as well as from the artist’s own drawings. Isolated images and fragments photocopied from the pages of books are layered with marks, shapes, and handwriting that frequently verges on the abstract. Recurring elements include masks, ceramics, certain phrases from the artist’s own writing and from literary sources (“WHAT A DAY WAS THIS”; “IF THE FUNCTION”), and historical images related to decolonization. A series of smaller collages on board, complementing the Mylars, are being shown as well.
For System of Display (2018), Pendleton again photocopies and crops images from his extensive library, in this case silkscreening them onto small mirrors. Each mirror is placed in a shadow box and overlaid with a plexiglass facade, upon which is printed a piece of a word—typically a single letter—indexed in each work’s title. Here, they are hung across a massive Wall Work, Midnight (A Victim of American Democracy) (2017), a black-and-white montage that echoes the four Untitled (A Victim of American Democracy) paintings.
Courtesy of Pace Gallery and © Adam Pendleton
Photos by Damian Griffiths