Derrick Adams’s Evocative “Beauty Works” Series
Explorations of black culture and identity in America figure prominently in the work of artist Derrick Adams, whose diverse practice spans painting, collage, sculpture, performance, sound, video, and more. For his latest show, “Transformers,” at Luxembourg & Dayan’s London gallery (on view through April 4), Adams shares new large-scale works from his “Beauty Works” series, which takes inspiration from the beauty supply stores, wig shops, hair-braiding parlors, and nail salons found in his Brooklyn neighborhood (and many other cities around the world, including Baltimore, where Adams was born and raised). Reflecting on these cultural and social rituals, his multilayered portraits celebrate, construct, and deconstruct the physical act of grooming, personal style, and consumerism.
“Transformers” is just one in a trio of shows by Adams to catch these next few weeks: Salon 94 is presenting a new series of his work, “We Came to Party and Plan,” at Frieze Los Angeles next weekend, and his solo exhibition “Buoyant” opens March 7 at the Hudson River Museum in New York. Adams’s work seems to be everywhere these days—we even noticed one of his paintings hanging behind Jay-Z in a recent New York Times portrait taken at Roc Nation’s Los Angeles offices.