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JIM ADAMS

ETERNAL WITNESS

January 9 - February 27, 2021

Jim Adams Lil Zoose, 2008

Jim Adams
Lil Zoose, 2008
Acrylic on canvas, hand-painted artist frame
49 x 37 in. 

Jim Adams Saturday Night, 2001

Jim Adams
Saturday Night, 2001
Acrylic on canvas, hand-painted artist frame
29.25 x 49.25 in. 

Jim Adams Look Upon the Rainbow, 2000

Jim Adams
Look Upon the Rainbow, 2000
Acrylic on canvas, hand-painted artist frame
31 x 49 in. 

Jim Adams Cydonian Sea (with thanks to Arnold BöcklIn), 1999

Jim Adams
Cydonian Sea (with thanks to Arnold BöcklIn), 1999
Acrylic on canvas and ragboard, hand-painted artist frame
30.75 x 54.75 in. 

Jim Adams Royal Flypast (Horus flies over the artist's studio while Seth explodes in rage), 2019 

Jim Adams
Royal Flypast (Horus flies over the artist's studio while Seth explodes in rage), 2019 
Acrylic on canvas, hand-painted artist frame
21 x 25 in. 

Jim Adams Autumn Ritual (Elizabeth's Raven), 2013

Jim Adams
Autumn Ritual (Elizabeth's Raven), 2013
Acrylic on canvas, hand-painted artist frame
8 x 10 in. 

Jim Adams Hades Sketch, 2013

Jim Adams
Hades Sketch, 2013
Acrylic on panel, hand-painted artist frame
7 x 5 in.

Jim Adams Lost Trophy (Apollo), 2012

Jim Adams
Lost Trophy (Apollo), 2012
Acrylic on canvas, hand-painted artist frame
28.75 x 36.75 in.

Jim Adams Harry and Anubis, 2018

Jim Adams
Harry and Anubis, 2018
Acrylic on canvas, hand-painted artist frame
40.5 x 32.5 in. 

Jim Adams Nubian Express / Exploration (The Artist Explores his Life), 2019

Jim Adams
Nubian Express / Exploration (The Artist Explores his Life), 2019
Acrylic on canvas, hand-painted artist frame
31.5 x 41.5 in.

 

Jim Adams Nubian Express (Little Pharaoh), 2019 

Jim Adams
Nubian Express (Little Pharaoh), 2019 
Acrylic on canvas, hand-painted artist frame
31.5 x 41.5 in. 

Jim Adams Eternal Symbol, 1996

Jim Adams
Eternal Symbol, 1996
Acrylic on canvas, hand-painted artist frame
37.75 x 49.5 in.

Jim Adams Nubian Express (Night Train), 2019

Jim Adams
Nubian Express (Night Train), 2019
Acrylic on canvas, hand-painted artist frame
7 x 5 in.

Jim Adams Minor Sun, 2000

Jim Adams
Minor Sun, 2000
Acrylic on canvas and ragboard, hand-painted artist frame
44.5 x 46.5 in. 

Jim Adams Minor Sun 2, 2001

Jim Adams
Minor Sun 2, 2001
Acrylic on canvas and ragboard, hand-painted artist frame
42.75 x 47.5 in.

Jim Adams Minor Sun 3 (Lucifer), 2001

Jim Adams
Minor Sun 3 (Lucifer), 2001
Acrylic on canvas and ragboard, hand-painted artist frame
54 x 41.25 in.

Jim Adams Minor Sun 4 (Red Sun), 2001

Jim Adams
Minor Sun 4 (Red Sun), 2001
Acrylic on canvas and ragboard, hand-painted artist frame
51 x 42.5 in. 

Jim Adams Nubian Express (Blue Moon), 2020

Jim Adams
Nubian Express (Blue Moon), 2020
Acrylic on canvas, hand-painted artist frame
5 x 7 in. 

Jim Adams Alien Landscape, 2018

Jim Adams
Alien Landscape, 2018
Acrylic on canvas, hand-painted artist frame
10 x 8 in.

Jim Adams Hades Rising, 2018

Jim Adams
Hades Rising, 2018
Acrylic on canvas, hand-painted artist frame
4 x 6 in. 

Jim Adams Lunatic, 2018

Jim Adams
Lunatic, 2018
Acrylic on canvas, hand-painted artist frame
5 x 7 in. 

Jim Adams Nubian Express No. 4, 2000

Jim Adams
Nubian Express No. 4, 2000
Acrylic on canvas
8 x 10 in. 

Jim Adams Nubian Express (Blood Moon), 2020

Jim Adams
Nubian Express (Blood Moon), 2020
Acrylic on canvas, hand-painted artist frame
5 x 7 in.

Jim Adams Young Haephestus (Vulcan), 2019

Jim Adams
Young Haephestus (Vulcan), 2019
Acrylic on canvas, hand-painted artist frame
6 x 6 in. 

Jim Adams Blood Moon, 2018 Acrylic on canvas

Jim Adams
Blood Moon, 2018
Acrylic on canvas
5 x 7 in.

Jim Adams Nubian Express (Hale/Bopp), 2019

Jim Adams
Nubian Express (Hale/Bopp), 2019
Acrylic on canvas, hand-painted artist frame
5 x 7 in. 

Press Release

Eternal Witness marks Adams first solo exhibition in Los Angeles and his first in the United States in over 45 years. The exhibition will present new paintings and sketches completed over the last four years along with a selection of works dating to the mid-late 1990s and the early 2000s.

The paintings in Eternal Witness draw primarily from "Mythic Sketches," a body of work that Adams has pursued consistently over the past three decades. They manifest as contemporary portraits and sketches of ancient deities that explore his interest in updating classical Egyptian and African mythologies within our present moment—often accompanied by a vibrant full moon, the pyramid, and the Nubian Express train (the "witness"). Drawn from Egyptian and Classical mythologies, Adams use of iconography acknowledges the long history of artistic representation associated with his mythic subjects. "For centuries, artists have used myths—both classic and obscure—to depict issues and conflicts that are as significant today as they were in earlier times,” says Adams. “Jealousy, ambition, hubris, greed and the glorification of warfare are essentially the same as they were in the age of the classic Greeks or the Kingdom of Great Zimbabwe. The only things that have changed are the clothes and the technology we use.”

It is tempting to read Adams' art as an expression of Afro-Futurism, given both his own race and his frequent references to Nubia, space, flight, and ancient Egyptian mythology. The recurring portrayal of young Black men and women in the role of classical heroes and deities supports this argument; but it is important to see these aspects within the broader context of his practice in a career spanning five decades. For as many paintings as there are of specific people, places, and times, there are an equal number of ahistorical, dreamlike worlds. Just as much as Adams draws upon current events and geopolitics, so too does he capture the seemingly apolitical: dramatic skyscapes, planetary eclipses, and astral constellations.

In his essay for the exhibition, the Canadian curator Rhys Edwards writes: “It is the paradox of the pyramid which underlies the art of Jim Adams. An ‘eternal symbol,’ it is always more than what it seems. Its cache extends beyond its own history. Likewise, Adams' myths always extend beyond their own precepts; they are never fixed, never singular, never the monoliths they may appear to be.”

Jim Adams was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1942 and has lived and worked in British Columbia since 1969. Adams received his bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Temple University in 1965 and his master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. Adams began his teaching career while in graduate school at the Fleisher Memorial Art School and as a lecturer for the Print Club of Philadelphia. He later taught at California State University, Long Beach and the Laguna Beach School of Art and Design (Laguna College of Art and Design). In 1970, after a brief time in Vancouver, he settled in Surrey, BC, and took up a position in the Fine Arts Department at Douglas/Kwantlen University College (KPU), where he taught until his retirement in 2000.

Among Adams’s most prominent exhibitions are The Irretrievable Moment (2017), a two-museum retrospective presented concurrently at The Surrey Art Gallery in Surrey and The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford; Mythic Sketches (2014) at the Newton Cultural Centre, Surrey; Re: Mix (2015) at the Surrey Art Gallery; and Tribute: The Art of African Canadian Artists (2006) at the Peel Art Gallery Museum + Archives in Brampton, ON, and the Mississauga Art Gallery in Mississauga, ON. He has also been featured in solo and group exhibitions at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC; Amelia Douglas Gallery, New Westminster, BC; Richmond Art Centre, Richmond, BC; A Space Gallery, Toronto, ON; Metro Hall, Toronto; Berkeley College at Yale University, New Haven, CT; Peterson Library, University of Connecticut, West Haven, CT; as well as Art Toronto, EXPO Chicago and UNTITLED. Art Miami, and numerous other venues.

For further information, please contact the gallery at 310-838-6000, or email gallery@luisdejesus.com.

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