Derrick Adams, In the House, 2010, digital C-print, 36 x 30".

Derrick Adams

Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts

Derrick Adams, In the House, 2010, digital C-print, 36 x 30".

Situated within a performing-arts complex, Derrick Adams’s exhibition “The World According to Derrick: Performative Objects in Formation” synced nicely with its surroundings. The show, organized by art historian (and Artforum contributor) Nuit Banai, tracked more than a decade of the New York–based artist’s production, dating back to his student days. From the beginning, Adams has invested his work with a high degree of performativity, though to call him a performance artist would be too limiting. Rather, he fluidly traverses the categorical distinctions typically drawn between performance and sculpture.

Throughout this exhibition, numerous references to walls, both metaphorical and actual, communicated Adams’s drive to acknowledge and negotiate obstacles of all kinds. In the hands of a less subtle artist, the faux-brick surfaces might have come across as dated parodies of Minimalist

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