Above:Derrick Adams, The Journey, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Tilton Gallery, New York.
Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, today announced a new slate of inHarlem initiatives led by the exhibition Derrick Adams: Patrick Kelly, The Journey, presented at the Countee Cullen Library branch of the New York Public Library (NYPL) at 104 West 136th Street. This exhibition, on view from May 3 to October 20, is based on artist Derrick Adams’s extensive research into the archive of the influential African-American fashion designer Patrick Kelly (1954–1990), housed at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NYPL. In conjunction with the exhibition, Adams will present a special public program on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, at 6:30 pm at the Schomburg Center, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard (at 135th Street). The event is free and open to the public. Ticket reservations can be made at nypl.org/events.
Inaugurated in summer 2016, inHarlem is designed to explore innovative ways to work in the community while taking the Museum beyond its own walls. As the initiative moves into its second year, inHarlem is encompassing a growing range of dynamic exhibitions and programs in partnership with the NYPL, Schomburg Center, NYC Parks, Maysles Documentary Cinema, AFROPUNK, Harlem Stage, The Laundromat Project, New East Harlem Merchants Association, Marcus Garvey Park Alliance, Barnard College and other cultural institutions in Upper Manhattan and throughout the city.
Thelma Golden said, “The success of our initial round of inHarlem initiatives has encouraged us to reach even more broadly into our community through a new set of collaborations with artists and neighborhood partners. We are thrilled to continue working with one of our lead partners, the New York Public Library, and to create and strengthen additional relationships.”
Building on the success of inHarlem’s installations of site-specific, commissioned sculptures in historic Harlem parks, Derrick Adams: Patrick Kelly, The Journey continues the Studio Museum’s commitment to exhibiting work by leading contemporary artists outside the traditional museum setting.
Brooklyn-based artist Derrick Adams (born 1970) was the winner of the Studio Museum’s 2016 Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize. Since discovering Kelly and his work in the pages of a fashion magazine in the mid-1980s, Adams has found inspiration in the designer’s creativity and personal style. Patrick Kelly, The Journey takes its name from an unrealized Kelly biography proposed by Maya Angelou, who has described Kelly’s “tremendous blazing yet brief passage throughout the worlds he traversed.”
At the center of Patrick Kelly, The Journey is Adams’s “Mood Board” series, a new body of work that responds to Kelly’s legacy as a formalist who imbued social context and humor into his creations. These abstract collages incorporate Kelly’s vintage clothing patterns, as well as his iconic fabrics, colors, and shapes: bold and colorful geometric forms, contours of the female body, and buttons and other embellishments. The works celebrate Kelly’s formal excellence while demonstrating Adams’s ongoing interest in deconstructing, fragmenting and manipulating structure and surface.
Derrick Adams: Patrick Kelly, The Journey is organized by Hallie Ringle, Assistant Curator.