Emerging as a voice of the post-conceptual generation, Adam Pendleton's works challenge historical and aesthetic conventions. If you’re looking for Adam Pendleton original prints and editions for sale or would like to sell, request a complimentary valuation and browse our network’s most in-demand works.

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Born in 1984 in Richmond, Virginia, Adam Pendleton's formative years were deeply immersed in art, nurturing a taste for the relationship between words, visuals, and societal conversations. With a keen eye for the underrepresented and the marginalised, Pendleton's works soon began to challenge and deconstruct historically accepted narratives, particularly those related to culture, history, and race.

A major milestone in his career was the introduction of the groundbreaking Black Dada. This avant-garde vision blended historical perceptions of blackness with European art sensibilities, carving out a singular platform for discussions on identity and portrayal. His influential oeuvre has been recognised globally, leading to solo exhibitions at prestigious institutions, including The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Additionally, his artistic flair has been showcased in renowned group exhibitions like the Whitney Biennial and the Venice Biennale.

Pendleton emerges as a figure that embodies the spirit of post-conceptualism. This term, while multi-faceted, primarily suggests an art form that pushes beyond traditional concepts, emphasising ideas over the visual or tangible aspects of artworks. Pendleton’s relationship with the written word offers a glimpse into this post-conceptual dimension. Where art tends to prioritise the visual, Pendleton elevates the significance of text, allowing words to challenge, complement, and frame his images.

Venturing into performance, sound, and collaborative projects, Pendleton has continually expanded the horizons of art with innovative approaches and expansive pursuits that make him a transformative figure in the contemporary landscape.

A large-scale canvas artwork by Adam Pendleton displaying monochromatic illegible words with scattered recognisable letters in disarray. The canvas is spray-painted and marked with gestural brushstrokes.

Image © Christie's / Untitled (Days) © Adam Pendleton

1. £509,211 for Adam Pendleton's Untitled (Days)

Pendleton's Untitled (Days) (2020) captivates with its thought-provoking synthesis of collective ideas shaping our perception of time and space. Drips and splatters interplay, creating an abstract tapestry mingled with elusive, occasionally discernible words. Featured in Pendleton's debut solo exhibition in Geneva, titled Abstraction, it distinguished itself among eight new paintings, marking his venture into large-scale canvases. Untitled (Days) achieved a remarkable auction record for Pendleton, commanding £509,211 with fees at Christie's in November 2022, underscoring its significance and resonance in the art world.

Black and white spray-painted canvas with repeated words "WE ARE NOT" featuring drips between letters and cropping.

Image © Sotheby's / Untitled (WE ARE NOT) © Adam Pendleton 2019-2020

2. £373,366 for Adam Pendleton's Untitled (WE ARE NOT)

Pendleton's Untitled (WE ARE NOT) (2019-2020) is a compelling exploration of contemporary themes through silkscreen ink and spray paint. Its horizontal layout enhances readability, drawing attention to the repeated phrase “WE ARE NOT.” Derived from Pendleton's Black Dada manifesto, the work sparks varied interpretations, suggesting understanding through negation. Several artworks from this series have achieved success in the secondary market, with sales at Sotheby's in November 2021 and May 2023 reaching £373,366 and £305,600 respectively (with fees), followed by another sale in October 2023 at Sotheby's Hong Kong.

Monochromatic black and white canvas featuring spray-painted vertical lines and stencil-cropped letters, hinting at the title “Untitled (A Victim of American Democracy),’’ with a screenprinted black and white photograph in the center.

Image © Phillips / Untitled (A Victim of American Democracy) © Adam Pendleton 2018

3. £205,351 for Adam Pendleton's Untitled (A Victim of American Democracy)

At the Our Ideas exhibition at Pace Gallery in 2018, Pendleton's Untitled (A Victim of American Democracy) (2018) emerged as a standout piece within its eponymous series. These expansive canvases feature vertically spray-painted lines overlaid with stencilled fragmented letters, forming the title: “A Victim of American Democracy.” Inspired by Malcolm X's 1964 speech, Pendleton's concept of Black Dada, pervasive in his work, addresses both past and future. Rejecting definitive answers, his art aims for experiential and cognitive engagement. Untitled (A Victim of American Democracy) fetched £205,351 with fees at Phillips in November 2021.

Matte black canvas with a luminous vertical sheen on the left side, running from top to bottom, and the letter ”K’’ positioned in the lower left-hand corner.

Image © Sotheby’s / Black Dada/Column (K) © Adam Pendleton 2015