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Biography

Terry Adkins (1953–2014, b. Washington, D.C., d. Brooklyn, NY) was a sculptor, musician, filmmaker, printmaker, and orchestrator of installations and experiences. A thoughtful and rigorous artist and teacher, his work remains hugely influential and widely acclaimed. Adkins grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, and studied printmaking before receiving an MFA in sculpture from the University of Kentucky, Lexington. One-person exhibitions of Adkins’ work include Recital at the Frances Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College, NY, that travelled to the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, IL (2012); an exhibition of video art at the University Galleries at Illinois State University (2016); a restaging of performances by the Lone Wolf Recital Corps, Adkins’ revolving collective, at the Museum of Modern Art, NY (2016); Infinity is Always Less Than One at the ICA Miami (2018); Resounding at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation (2020); and shows at the Fisk University and the Frist Museum in Nashville (2020). Adkins was included in the Performa Biennial in 2013, the Whitney Biennial in 2014 and the Venice Biennale in 2015. Work by Adkins is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Studio Museum in Harlem, in New York; The Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C., the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Fine Arts San Francisco; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Tate Collection, UK, among others, and private collections worldwide. From 2000 until his death, Adkins was a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails
Terry Adkins Mrs. Brown, 2010

Terry Adkins
Mrs. Brown, 2010
sousaphone, aluminum bells, and silver drum with drum head
74 1⁄4 x 30 x 30 inches (188.6 x 76.2 x 76.2 cm)

Terry Adkins Audience (from Belted Bronze), 2007-08

Terry Adkins
Audience (from Belted Bronze), 2007-08
28 framed drawings, 5 plastic milk crates and taxidermy peacock
each frame: 19 1/4 x 25 1/4  x 1 1/2 in. (48.9 x 64.1 x 3.8 cm)
overall: 77 x 177 x 1 1/2 in. (195.6 x 449.6 x 3.8 cm)

 

 

Terry Adkins Matinee, 2007-2013

Terry Adkins
Matinee, 2007-2013
Brass drum with image, steel armature, welded bronze, 28 hangers-burnt cork
73 x 53 x 41 in. (185.4 x 134.6 x 104.1 cm)

Terry Adkins Adnachiel, 2012

Terry Adkins
Adnachiel, 2012
microphone stand, wooden dowel, parachute and dyed feathers
79 3/4 x 12 x 12 in. (202.6 x 30.5 x 30.5 cm)

Terry Adkins Flumen Orationis (from The Principalities), 2012

Terry Adkins
Flumen Orationis (from The Principalities), 2012
stereoscopic digital video with sound
Duration time: 41:37 minutes
Edition of 5

Terry Adkins Other Bloods (from The Principalities), 2012

Terry Adkins
Other Bloods (from The Principalities), 2012
drum, rope, and parachute
62 x 19 x 12 in. (157.5 x 48.3 x 30.5 cm)

Terry Adkins Jupiter, 1994

Terry Adkins
Jupiter, 1994
wood and enamel
13 1/2 x 48 in. (34.3 x 121.9 cm)

Terry Adkins Black Patti, c. 2007

Terry Adkins
Black Patti, c. 2007
unique digital print on paper
38 1/4 x 79 1/2 in. (97.2 x 201.9 cm)
frame: 42 x 83 1/4 x 2 1/4 in. (106.7 x 211.5 x 5.7 cm)

Terry Adkins Untitled (Metal music box disk print), c. 2001

Terry Adkins
Untitled (Metal music box disk print), c. 2001
Print from metal music box disk
37 7/8 x 40 1/8 x 1 3/4 in. (96.2 x 101.9 x 4.4 cm)

Studio view, Projekt Binz 39, Zurich, Switzerland, 1987. 

Studio view, Projekt Binz 39, Zurich, Switzerland, 1987. 

Installation view, Terry Adkins: Infinity Is Always Less Than One, Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, May 17 – Sept 23, 2018. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio.

Installation view, Terry Adkins: Infinity Is Always Less Than One, Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, May 17 – Sept 23, 2018. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio.

Terry Adkins Smoke Stack (Towering Steep), 2003 

Terry Adkins
Smoke Stack (Towering Steep), 2003 
copper, aluminum, tar
16 1/2 x 30 x 30 in. (41.9 x 76.2 x 76.2 cm)
Photo: Virginia Harold; Courtesy Pulitzer Arts Foundation

Installation view of Synapse (from Black Beethoven) (2004-2012) in Terry Adkins: Soldier Shepherd Prophet Martyr: Videos from 1998-2013, University Galleries of Illinois State University, 2016. Photo: Jason Judd.

Installation view of Synapse (from Black Beethoven) (2004-2012) in Terry Adkins: Soldier Shepherd Prophet Martyr: Videos from 1998-2013, University Galleries of Illinois State University, 2016. Photo: Jason Judd.

Terry Adkins Buffet Flat (from Belted Bronze), 2007-08

Terry Adkins
Buffet Flat (from Belted Bronze), 2007-08
silver bowls and utensils, glass marbles, leather case, honey, nylon single-sided flags, taxidermy birds, sewing machine table, instrument stand, inkjet printer, parachute, blown glass
180 x 220 x 48 in. (457.2 x 558.8 x 121.9 cm)
Installation view, Terry Adkins: Infinity Is Always Less Than One, Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, 2018
Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio

 

Terry Adkins Smoke Signal (from the Principalities), 2012

Terry Adkins
Smoke Signal (from the Principalities), 2012
concrete, metal, plastic, leather
162 x 22 x 20 in.
Photo: Virginia Harold; Courtesy Pulitzer Arts Foundation

Terry Adkins Mute (from the Belted Bronze), 2007-2011

Terry Adkins
Mute (from the Belted Bronze), 2007-2011
digital black-and-white video, silent
22 min. 7 sec.

Terry Adkins Spears with 3 Prints (detail), 2010

Terry Adkins
Spears with 3 Prints (detail), 2010
23 metal and wood spears, replicas, 3 framed black-and-white prints
dimensions variable

Installation view, Terry Adkins: Recital, The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, 2012. Photo: Arthur Evans.

Installation view, Terry Adkins: Recital, The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, 2012. Photo: Arthur Evans.

Terry Adkins Miy Paluk 1866 (still), 2012

Terry Adkins
Miy Paluk 1866 (still), 2012
single-channel digital video with sound (originally presented as a three-channel video on vertical flat-screen monitors)
24:26 minutes

 , Installation view, 2014 Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, 2014. From left to right: Terry Adkins, Aviarium (Dickcissel), 2014; Terry Adkins, Aviarium (Mourning Dove), 2014; Terry Adkins, Aviarium (Seaside Sparrow), 2014; Terry Adkins, Aviarium (Grasshopper Sparrow), 2014; Terry Adkins, Aviarium (Broad-winged Hawk), 2014. Photo: Bill Orcutt; Courtesy the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

 

Installation view, 2014 Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, 2014. From left to right: Terry Adkins, Aviarium (Dickcissel), 2014; Terry Adkins, Aviarium (Mourning Dove), 2014; Terry Adkins, Aviarium (Seaside Sparrow), 2014; Terry Adkins, Aviarium (Grasshopper Sparrow), 2014; Terry Adkins, Aviarium (Broad-winged Hawk), 2014. Photo: Bill Orcutt; Courtesy the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Installation view, Projects 107: Lone Wolf Recital Corps, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2017. Photo: Robert Gerhardt; Courtesy Museum of Modern Art.

Installation view, Projects 107: Lone Wolf Recital Corps, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2017. Photo: Robert Gerhardt; Courtesy Museum of Modern Art.

Installation view, Terry Adkins: Infinity Is Always Less Than One, Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, May 17 – Sept 23, 2018. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio.,  

Installation view, Terry Adkins: Infinity Is Always Less Than One, Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, May 17 – Sept 23, 2018. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio.

 

Terry Adkins Mrs. Brown, 2010

Terry Adkins
Mrs. Brown, 2010
sousaphone, aluminum bells, and silver drum with drum head
74 1⁄4 x 30 x 30 inches (188.6 x 76.2 x 76.2 cm)

Terry Adkins Audience (from Belted Bronze), 2007-08

Terry Adkins
Audience (from Belted Bronze), 2007-08
28 framed drawings, 5 plastic milk crates and taxidermy peacock
each frame: 19 1/4 x 25 1/4  x 1 1/2 in. (48.9 x 64.1 x 3.8 cm)
overall: 77 x 177 x 1 1/2 in. (195.6 x 449.6 x 3.8 cm)

 

 

Terry Adkins Matinee, 2007-2013

Terry Adkins
Matinee, 2007-2013
Brass drum with image, steel armature, welded bronze, 28 hangers-burnt cork
73 x 53 x 41 in. (185.4 x 134.6 x 104.1 cm)

Terry Adkins Adnachiel, 2012

Terry Adkins
Adnachiel, 2012
microphone stand, wooden dowel, parachute and dyed feathers
79 3/4 x 12 x 12 in. (202.6 x 30.5 x 30.5 cm)

Terry Adkins Flumen Orationis (from The Principalities), 2012

Terry Adkins
Flumen Orationis (from The Principalities), 2012
stereoscopic digital video with sound
Duration time: 41:37 minutes
Edition of 5

Terry Adkins Other Bloods (from The Principalities), 2012

Terry Adkins
Other Bloods (from The Principalities), 2012
drum, rope, and parachute
62 x 19 x 12 in. (157.5 x 48.3 x 30.5 cm)

Terry Adkins Jupiter, 1994

Terry Adkins
Jupiter, 1994
wood and enamel
13 1/2 x 48 in. (34.3 x 121.9 cm)

Terry Adkins Black Patti, c. 2007

Terry Adkins
Black Patti, c. 2007
unique digital print on paper
38 1/4 x 79 1/2 in. (97.2 x 201.9 cm)
frame: 42 x 83 1/4 x 2 1/4 in. (106.7 x 211.5 x 5.7 cm)

Terry Adkins Untitled (Metal music box disk print), c. 2001

Terry Adkins
Untitled (Metal music box disk print), c. 2001
Print from metal music box disk
37 7/8 x 40 1/8 x 1 3/4 in. (96.2 x 101.9 x 4.4 cm)

Studio view, Projekt Binz 39, Zurich, Switzerland, 1987. 

Studio view, Projekt Binz 39, Zurich, Switzerland, 1987. 

Installation view, Terry Adkins: Infinity Is Always Less Than One, Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, May 17 – Sept 23, 2018. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio.

Installation view, Terry Adkins: Infinity Is Always Less Than One, Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, May 17 – Sept 23, 2018. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio.

Terry Adkins Smoke Stack (Towering Steep), 2003 

Terry Adkins
Smoke Stack (Towering Steep), 2003 
copper, aluminum, tar
16 1/2 x 30 x 30 in. (41.9 x 76.2 x 76.2 cm)
Photo: Virginia Harold; Courtesy Pulitzer Arts Foundation

Installation view of Synapse (from Black Beethoven) (2004-2012) in Terry Adkins: Soldier Shepherd Prophet Martyr: Videos from 1998-2013, University Galleries of Illinois State University, 2016. Photo: Jason Judd.

Installation view of Synapse (from Black Beethoven) (2004-2012) in Terry Adkins: Soldier Shepherd Prophet Martyr: Videos from 1998-2013, University Galleries of Illinois State University, 2016. Photo: Jason Judd.

Terry Adkins Buffet Flat (from Belted Bronze), 2007-08

Terry Adkins
Buffet Flat (from Belted Bronze), 2007-08
silver bowls and utensils, glass marbles, leather case, honey, nylon single-sided flags, taxidermy birds, sewing machine table, instrument stand, inkjet printer, parachute, blown glass
180 x 220 x 48 in. (457.2 x 558.8 x 121.9 cm)
Installation view, Terry Adkins: Infinity Is Always Less Than One, Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, 2018
Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio

 

Terry Adkins Smoke Signal (from the Principalities), 2012

Terry Adkins
Smoke Signal (from the Principalities), 2012
concrete, metal, plastic, leather
162 x 22 x 20 in.
Photo: Virginia Harold; Courtesy Pulitzer Arts Foundation

Terry Adkins Mute (from the Belted Bronze), 2007-2011

Terry Adkins
Mute (from the Belted Bronze), 2007-2011
digital black-and-white video, silent
22 min. 7 sec.

Terry Adkins Spears with 3 Prints (detail), 2010

Terry Adkins
Spears with 3 Prints (detail), 2010
23 metal and wood spears, replicas, 3 framed black-and-white prints
dimensions variable

Installation view, Terry Adkins: Recital, The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, 2012. Photo: Arthur Evans.

Installation view, Terry Adkins: Recital, The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, 2012. Photo: Arthur Evans.

Terry Adkins Miy Paluk 1866 (still), 2012

Terry Adkins
Miy Paluk 1866 (still), 2012
single-channel digital video with sound (originally presented as a three-channel video on vertical flat-screen monitors)
24:26 minutes

 , Installation view, 2014 Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, 2014. From left to right: Terry Adkins, Aviarium (Dickcissel), 2014; Terry Adkins, Aviarium (Mourning Dove), 2014; Terry Adkins, Aviarium (Seaside Sparrow), 2014; Terry Adkins, Aviarium (Grasshopper Sparrow), 2014; Terry Adkins, Aviarium (Broad-winged Hawk), 2014. Photo: Bill Orcutt; Courtesy the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

 

Installation view, 2014 Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, 2014. From left to right: Terry Adkins, Aviarium (Dickcissel), 2014; Terry Adkins, Aviarium (Mourning Dove), 2014; Terry Adkins, Aviarium (Seaside Sparrow), 2014; Terry Adkins, Aviarium (Grasshopper Sparrow), 2014; Terry Adkins, Aviarium (Broad-winged Hawk), 2014. Photo: Bill Orcutt; Courtesy the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Installation view, Projects 107: Lone Wolf Recital Corps, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2017. Photo: Robert Gerhardt; Courtesy Museum of Modern Art.

Installation view, Projects 107: Lone Wolf Recital Corps, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2017. Photo: Robert Gerhardt; Courtesy Museum of Modern Art.

Installation view, Terry Adkins: Infinity Is Always Less Than One, Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, May 17 – Sept 23, 2018. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio.,  

Installation view, Terry Adkins: Infinity Is Always Less Than One, Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, May 17 – Sept 23, 2018. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio.

 

Video

Exhibition walkthrough of TERRY ADKINS at Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.

Terry Adkins: Recital, 2012. Video courtesy The Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York.