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FOCUS: Marina Adams


Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

Contemporary artist Marina Adams will show seven energetic abstract paintings from the past four years that are immersive in scale, as well as several recent small-scale gouache-on-paper works from her New York series. Adams explores the relationship between color and shape in her acrylic-on-linen paintings, where organic forms of solid color abut and interlock. Her work balances organization and improvisation; she sketches out her compositions before she paints, but there is an immediacy made obvious by loose, confident brushstrokes, where drips and bands of color overlap.

Though abstract, Adams’s paintings are rooted in textile design and architecture. She states, “Pattern is a language that crosses boundaries. It offers common ground.” As similar patterns have historically been found in far-flung locations not likely to have been in contact, it is clear certain designs are elemental and primal, and in these synchronicities, as she says, “we find how we’re alike, as opposed to always thinking about how we’re different.”

Literature and history also play important roles in Adams’s work, especially in the use of referential titles. For example, Cheops, 2018, which is included in this exhibition, refers to the ancient Egyptian pharaoh for whom the Great Pyramid of Giza was built, and the painting’s composition echoes pyramidal forms. According to Adams, such titles are important as her work is not overtly narrative, so, through literary references, she offers viewers a path of entry into her art.   

Marina Adams was born in Orange, New Jersey, in 1960 and lives between New York and Parma, Italy. She earned a BFA from the Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, and an MFA from Columbia University, New York. Solo exhibitions of her work have been presented at Salon 94, New York; Galerie Gris, Hudson, New York; CUE Art Foundation, New York; and Magazzino d’Arte Moderna, Rome. Her work has been included in recent group exhibitions at the Camden Arts Centre, London; Lisson Gallery, New York; American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York; and The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster, New Jersey. Adams received the Award of Merit Medal for Painting from the Academy of Arts and Letters and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship.

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