Medium
Image rights
Photo by Alex John Beck for Artsy.

A musician and multimedia artist, Terry Adkins explores the lives of historical figures that he considers to be underappreciated, or those he calls “Immortals”—typically African American cultural figures—producing sculptural works and assemblages that refer to their biographies. His subjects have run the gamut from civil rights leaders to musicians, including Jimi Hendrix, Ludwig van Beethoven, W.E.B. Du Bois, and the abolitionist John Brown, whose contributions to history Adkins believes deserve more attention. His installations, which he conceives of as “recitals” or musical scores, have included repurposed objects, blown glass, and wood, and they frequently include interactive performances. In his “Black Beethoven” series, a group of sound sculptures, Adkins explores the myth of Beethoven being black, while more recently he has examined the biographies of George Washington Carver and Yves Klein, finding surprising points of comparison between the two.

Blue chip
Represented by internationally recognized galleries.
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
2018
Lord Duveen: My Pictures Never Look So Marvellous As When You Are HereLévy Gorvy
2015
Human Ecology 101Ronald Feldman Gallery
All the World’s Futures56th Venice Biennale
View all

Solemnis (Installation view), 2004

Brass, marble, geodes
97 × 10 × 62 in
246.4 × 25.4 × 157.5 cm
Location
Venice
Medium
Image rights
Photo by Alex John Beck for Artsy.

A musician and multimedia artist, Terry Adkins explores the lives of historical figures that he considers to be underappreciated, or those he calls “Immortals”—typically African American cultural figures—producing sculptural works and assemblages that refer to their biographies. His subjects have run the gamut from civil rights leaders to musicians, including Jimi Hendrix, Ludwig van Beethoven, W.E.B. Du Bois, and the abolitionist John Brown, whose contributions to history Adkins believes deserve more attention. His installations, which he conceives of as “recitals” or musical scores, have included repurposed objects, blown glass, and wood, and they frequently include interactive performances. In his “Black Beethoven” series, a group of sound sculptures, Adkins explores the myth of Beethoven being black, while more recently he has examined the biographies of George Washington Carver and Yves Klein, finding surprising points of comparison between the two.

Blue chip
Represented by internationally recognized galleries.
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions (3)
Other works from All the World’s Futures
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