Derrick Adams

Derrick Adams is a multidisciplinary New York-based artist who's practice is rooted in Deconstructivist philosophies and the perception of ideals attached to objects, colors, textures, symbols and ideologies - and how they are formed.  His work focuses on the fragmentation and manipulation of structure and surface while exploring the shape-shifting force of popular culture in our lives.

Learning also functions as both subject and object in his work, which derive from impressionable experiences associated with iconography from American culture, educational television programming and the institutional critique in contemporary art.  Shedding light on persuasive, performative and often duplicitous identities, as well as on architectural objects and iconography, the work he creates also reflects the relationship between man and monument as they coexist in the landscape as representations of one another.

He is an alumnus of The Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, The Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program and received his BFA from Pratt Institute and his MFA from Columbia University.  His exhibition and performance highlights include: PS1/MoMA Greater New York 2005, Performa 05, Brooklyn Museum Open House, The Kitchen NYC 2010, Collette Blanchard Gallery 2010 and The Bearden Project at Studio Museum in Harlem 2011.  He is the recipient of a 2009 Louis Comfort Tiffany Award and an honored finalist for the 2011 William H. Johnson Prize.

Derrick Adams lives and works in New York, NY


  • 2003  MFA, Columbia University, New York NY.
  • 1996  BFA, Art & Design Education, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn NY.

Solo Exhibitions and Performances

  • 2012  Deconstruction Worker, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York
  • 2010  Go Stand Next to the Mountain, The Kitchen, New York NY
  • Welcome to Monument City, Collette Blanchard Gallery, New York NY
  • 2009  Introduction to Bizarro Wiz, Collette Blanchard Gallery, NADA, Miami Beach FL, (Installation and performance at Le Jardin Theatre, Deauville Beach Resort)
  • 2006  Sometimes I Just Don’t Feel Like Myself, Momenta Arts, Brooklyn NY
  • 2005  Anew (PERFORMA ‘05 performance biennial), Participant Inc, New York NY
  • I'm Sorry, I'm Lost, Marvelli Gallery, New York NY
  • I'm Smoke; You’re Mirror, Participant Inc, New York NY
  • 2004  Me and My Imaginary Friends, Triple Candie (Project Space), New York NY
  • 2003  The Big Getaway, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York NY

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2012  NEXT: Artists selected by 30 Americans, Contemporary Wing, Washington, DC
  • 2011  Bearden Project, Museum in Harlem
  • 2010  Lush Life: Chapter One: Whistle, Sue Scott Gallery, New York NY (Curated by Franklin Evans and Omar Lopez-Chahoud)
  • 50 Artists Photograph the Future, Higher Pictures, New York NY
  • 2009  Revelatory Tension, BRIC Arts, Brooklyn NY
  • Harlem Postcards, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York NY
  • 2008  1968: Then and Now, Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York NY (Curator: Deborah Willis)
  • Casa de Carton, Ingalls & Associates, Miami FL (Curator: William Cordova)
  • 2007  Neo Integrity, Derrick Eller Gallery, New York NY (Curator: Keith Mayerson)
  • Dream of Today, Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles CA (Curator: Amy Smith-Stewart)
  • Taking Possession, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • Reasons to Riot, Memphis College of Art, Memphis TN
  • 2006  Invade My Dreams, Taxter & Spengemann, New York NY (Curator: Kalup Linzy)
  • The Pulse of New Brooklyn, MoCADA, Brooklyn NY (Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art)                                
  • 2005  If You’re Feeling Sinister, Alona Kagan Gallery, New York NY
  • Greater New York 2005, P.S.1 MoMA, NY
  • Jack Tilton Inaugural Exhibition, Tilton Gallery, New York NY
  • 2004  Art Downtown: Connecting Collections, Wall Street Rising / Deutsche Bank, New York NY
  • Me, Myself & I, Florida Atlantic University Gallery, Boca Raton FL (Renee Riccardo & Paul Laster, Curator)
  • Notorious Impropriety, Sampson Projects, Boston MA
  • Open House: Working in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn NY
  • 2003  24/7: Wilno – Nueva York (Visa Para), Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Confrontation or Commentary, Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York NY
  • Summer Jam, Roebling Hall – Satellite, New York NY  (Franklin Sirmans, Curator)
  • You, Lisa Kirk Projects, New York NY
  • Adams, Cerrillo, Perkins, Massimo Audiello, New York NY
  • Veni Vidi Video, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York NY
  • Urbanites: New York, London, Tokyo, Centenary Gallery, Camberwell College of Arts, London, UK
  • 2002 Hotel/Motel, Triple Candie, New York NY and L. C. Bates Museum, Hinckley ME

Residencies and Awards

  • 2011  William H. Johnson  Award Finalist
  • 2011-13  The Hermitage Artist Retreat,  Englewood, FL
  • 2010  The Fountainhead Residency, Miami FL
  • 2009  Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, New York NY
  • 2003 – 2004  The Space Program, New York NY
  • Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation
  • 2001 – 2003  Agnes Martin Fellowship
  • 2002  Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Skowhegan ME

Press and Publications



Please contact for more information.