Marina Adams: What Are You Listening To?
Marina Adams: What Are You Listening To? (2022) explored and highlighted the artist’s signature style. Committed to pure painterly expression, Adams pursues rigorous examinations of color and form that situate her in the tradition of the New York School painting, with its emphasis on gesture, spontaneity, and improvisation—an aesthetic and methodology shared amongst poets, musicians, and dancers alike.
In persistent dialogue with art-historical heroes Henri Matisse, Willem de Kooning, and Joan Mitchell, among others, Adams probes the lineages of modernism while adding her voice and momentum to this tradition. The palette of Twenty Springs (2022) echoes that of Niki de Saint Phalle, and its organic tower form looks to an intimate Sonia Delaunay drawing for inspiration. Despite these connections, however, Twenty Springs announces itself on its own terms.
In 2021, Adams moved her studio from industrial Brooklyn to a newly constructed building on the East End of Long Island. This bright, airy space heralded a clean slate: its fresh walls were lined with blank canvases of three sizes, while a patchwork of specialty brushes, favorite postcards, and books of art, poetry, and textiles spread across two low tables. The resulting works were more determined, physical, and sculptural than her previous improvisational, sinuous paintings. Immersed in the natural setting of Long Island, Adams has also called upon associations with other locales meaningful to her including Rome, Reggio Emilia in Italy, and Greece.
In making and installing this exhibition, Adams responded to the various shifting palettes and architectonic forms of the spaces at LGDR’s building at 3 East 89th Street. A suite of three paintings—Like a Tree (2022), Song for My Mother (2022), and Stone Cold Fox (2022) juxtaposed with the aptly titled DIVA (2021)—was painted with the Beaux-Arts architecture of the building’s Stone Room in mind. Says Adams, “The relationship between painting and architecture is reciprocal, whether it be an Italian Baroque chapel or the proverbial white cube. Whenever possible, I try to establish a dialogue between painting and architecture. Both are about construction and form and activating space.”