Derrick Adams exhibition: 'Patrick Kelly, The Journey'

Now on View - July 19, 2020

Derrick Adams exhibition: 'Patrick Kelly, The Journey'


Patrick Kelly, The Journey emerges from artist Derrick Adams’ extensive exploration into the archive of the influential African-American fashion designer Patrick Kelly (1954–90). Kelly was the first American to be admitted to the Chambre syndicale du prêt-à-porter, the prestigious governing body of the French ready-to-wear industry. Adams immersed himself in the Kelly archive at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York, where he discovered a trove of correspondence, sketches, swatches, photographs, and other memorabilia, including a proposal for a book about Kelly’s life written by his friend, the esteemed poet Maya Angelou. Adams’ works reference Kelly’s legacy as a formalist who infused social context and humor into his creations. The exhibition presents Adams’ abstract collages and sculptural works that incorporate Kelly’s vintage clothing patterns, iconic fabrics, bold and colorful geometric forms, and embellishments.

The exhibition is curated by Alexandra Sachs, executive director of SCAD FASH and Atlanta exhibitions. It is presented as part of SCAD deFINE ART 2020, the university’s annual program of commissions, exhibitions, lectures, and performances held Feb. 18–20 at locations in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia.


Derrick Adams, "Runway No. 1," clothing patterns, acrylic, and fabric, 60" x 40", 2017. Courtesy of the artist, Luxembourg & Dayan, New York/London, and Salon 94, New York.

Portrait of artist Derrick Adams

Photo by Mark Poucher

About the artist

Derrick Adams is a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist who works in painting and sculpture as well as performance, video, and sound. His artistic practice is rooted in Deconstructivist philosophies and the ways in which human ideals become attached to objects, colors, textures, symbols, and ideologies. Adams’ work focuses on the fragmentation and manipulation of structure and surface, exploring the shape-shifting force of popular culture on self-image. 

Adams is a recipient of The Studio Museum in Harlem’s Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award. His work has been presented in numerous important exhibitions and venues, including Greater New York at MoMA PS1, New York; Open House: Working in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Museum; Performa, New York; Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art and The Shadows Took Shape at The Studio Museum; and The Channel at Brooklyn Academy of Music. He is represented in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Studio Museum; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; and the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama.