about the exhibition
New Works 13.1
New York, New York
March 21–May 19, 2013ABOUT THE ARTIST
Adam Putnam uses a wide variety of media such as performance, sculpture, photography, and drawing, to explore perceptions and physical relationships with space. In a 2012 solo exhibition at Locust Projects, he transformed the exhibition space by constructing remnants of classical architecture-archways, pillars-creating, “an armature for the experience of finding oneself alone in an architectural immensity that falls away and recedes in perspective like fading memories and fog enshrouded mountains.” At the 2008 Whitney Biennial, Green Hallways (Magic Lantern) altered space using mirrors, light, and shadow. Adam Putnam
ABOUT THE PROCESS
How does this exhibition give insight into your working process?
This is a snapshot of my working process, of what has been going on since I got here, including
photographs and video. The studio space became a sort of stage set with the image of the arch
as a guiding principal. I have been thinking about the idea of portraiture as architecture and
portraiture as performance.
How do the different elements come together in this space?
This exhibition has become about shadow and light. The series of black-and-white photographs
act as storyboards, documenting what has been happening in the space. I like the idea that a
stage set does not have to be 100 percent realistic; it just has to read and be understood from a
distance. The repetition of the arch can be seen in the light projection piece and in the
photographs—where my form becomes the arch—and in the physical arches of the structures.
The etchings are derived from prepatory sketches that I have used to make actual brick structures
and drawings. They have become plates that can be moved around in the same way I have been
moving these structures. The video is yet another explanation of all these elements coming
How does your process at Artpace relate to your previous or future work?
I came here reinvestigating a previous exhibition, going from a physical space to what is seen
here. It is a more visual form of storytelling. It is me trying to uncensor myself and be propelled by
curiosity. I was coming into the space and trying to create something new every day as a way to
force myself into moving forward. I have sped up a six-month process into one month, so much of
the work I have created here will be used in future projects.
Is there a common narrative or theme in the space?
It is a narrative, but I’m hoping that by taking a snapshot of my working process, I am inviting
people in and allowing them to make their own associations. My work is experiential and I want the
viewer to encounter these images with a similar sense of curiosity about architecture or moving
through space in a different way. As a result, the space is not meant to be pristine and finished,
but unfinished and in-process.