Motion Picture Paintings, a solo exhibition by Derrick Adams, comprises a cycle of sixteen large-scale works from Adams’s new series Motion Picture Paintings, 2020-22, which extend the artist’s signature deconstructed, cubist-style portraits in a new cinematic direction. Freeze framed moments—drawn from movies, media, and the artist’s imagination—are emblazoned with a variety of graphic texts reminiscent of film titles. “Black life is a movie,” says Adams, “a psychological thriller, situational comedy, romance, adventure drama, suspense, and horror all rolled into one.”
Through composition and imagery, Derrick Adams references various aspects of film production, including movie trailers, billboards, lobby cards, and subtitles, as well as cinematic tropes like the close-up shot and theatrical poses. Ranging in palette and scale, the paintings in I Can Show You Better Than I Can Tell You operate individually, yet remain linked, like panels of a storyboard. Moments of joy, leisure, and fantasy are depicted in scenarios influenced by day-to-day life, family photographs, African sculpture, songs, and movies.