The Arthur Ross Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania is pleased to present Darkwater Revival: After Terry Adkins, described by Dejáy B. Duckett, associate director and associate curator of Penn’s Arthur Ross Gallery, as “an homage to the distinguished artist, musician and University of Pennsylvania professor whose untimely death in 2014 was a huge loss to the artistic community” (Almanac February 18, 2014).
The exhibition, which runs through December 11, explores Professor Adkins’ legacy not only as an artist, but as a professor, colleague and mentor, and is highlighted by the works of ten artists and former students from the Penn community who have been deeply impacted by his work and by their relationship with him.
Darkwater Revival features many of Adkins’ original works from Darkwater: A Recital in Four Dominions, Terry Adkins after W.E.B. Du Bois, his homage to Du Bois, 100 years after the publication of The Philadelphia Negro (published by University of Pennsylvania Press in 1899). The exhibition was a site-specific collaboration with the Arthur Ross Gallery, and combined sculptural elements with archival documents, artifacts and prints and performance to create a recital in which Professor Adkins was composer, conductor, and performer. Darkwater Revival follows in Professor Adkins ’ footsteps, honoring the artist in much the same way, reflecting on his creative process, his intuitive and thoughtful approach to art-making, all highlighted by the recent works of his former students and collaborators Jamal Cyrus, Nsenga Knight, Ernel Martinez, Matt Neff, Tameka Norris, Sean Riley, Jessica Slaven, Ivanco Talevski, Sarah Tortora and Wilmer Wilson.
Darkwater Revival: After Terry Adkins is curated by Ms. Duckett, who curated Darkwater Revival with Professor Adkins in 2002 and Demetrius Oliver, the New York-based artist and 2004 graduate of Penn ’s School of Design who studied under Professor Adkins.
Professor Adkins joined the Penn faculty in 2000 and was known for using biographical information of often-overlooked historical figures in addition to the music and found materials that inspired his work. His art is in the collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington; the Studio Museum in Harlem; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art in New York; and the Tate Modern in London. He was featured in the 2014 Whitney Biennial and also the 2015 Venice Biennale.
Adds Mr. Oliver, “His work, steeped in abstraction, left an indelible impression on me, it was his uncompromising principles and artistic stance that continues to challenge me today.”
During Darkwater Revival artists will present performances in the Arthur Ross Gallery:
Thursday, September 29, 5:30 p.m.
Sean Riley, Insoluble
Friday, December 2, 5:30 p.m.
Ernel Martinez and Keir Johnston, Martyrs’ Day
The Arthur Ross Gallery is located at 220 South 34th Street, (located in the Fisher Fine Arts Library Building), and is free and open to the public.
Hours: weekdays 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; weekends noon-5 p.m. Closed Mondays. Visit on Facebook and Twitter. To reserve a group tour contact email@example.com or (215) 898-3617; more info: ArthurRossGallery.org or (215) 898-2083.
Wilmer Wilson IV, IVY League, 2016, mixed media on wood
Jessica Slaven, Eeceit, 2014, colored pencil on paper
Ivanco Talevski, Monument to The Syrian Bicyclists, 2016, oil on paper
Sean Riley, Bluets I, 2016, indigo-dyed paper on paper