Long presumed to be a figurative painter—because almost every painting he has made has included figuration—Bruce Adams ably illustrates the stronghold an old trope can have over new work. Adams has always maintained that he was a conceptual artist using figuration as a device within a more malleable and open-ended approach. There is an even stronger argument that Adams, born in 1952, is actually a member of The Pictures Generation, albeit one who will never be recognized within the NYC-centric membership that typically define that group. Representational imagery that often references mass media and utilizes modes of quotation, excerptation, framing, and staging is precisely what Adams has always done. While his works give the appearance of inherent narrative, he has always been prone to enabling the viewer to fulfill the authorship of a painting and dictate its ultimate—and variable—meaning. Freeing Marks includes selected work from across the entirety of Adams' career, demonstrating his prodigious painterly skills; his facility for colliding images into wider meanings; his vibrant use of color; and Adams' own notion that the "painting is just in the service of the thought.”
Bruce Adams: Freeing Marks is made possible through the generous support of The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation, the Tower Family Fund, and Cindy & Francis Letro.