Humor seems to be integral to Adian’s practice, and many of his pieces come across like blunt jokes, with titles adding a hint of narrative to the abstract compositions. In Tipt (2015), a yellow square threatens to teeter off a grey triangle. And in Nuptuals (2015), two skinny blue lines limply graze two white lines, like a sad attempt at marriage between two colors.
But it would be wrong to think that Adian is simply a comedian. As playful as they are, his paintings reveal a serious engagement with color theory and composition. Unexpected colors and forms come together in uncanny and enthralling arrangements—and it’s that ability that makes you want to stay Adian’s paintings long after you’ve gotten their punchline.