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Pat Adams NA (July 8, 1929 in Stockton, California - ) is an American painter and printmaker. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1949 after which she took courses at the California College of Arts and Crafts, University of the Pacific and the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1950 she moved to New York City and enrolled in the art program at the Brooklyn Museum where she studied under Max Beckmann, John Ferren and Reuben Tam. In 1956 she won a Fulbright Scholarship to study in France, where she traveled with her husband, Vincent Longo, who is also a painter and printmaker.[3] From 1971 to 1995 Adams taught at the Yale School of Art, and in 1995 she won the Vermont Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts. Her style, a mixture of modernism and abstraction, is described by Adams as "yield[ing] more to qualities than ideas, more to matter than its naming".[4]


Adams’s first solo exhibition was in 1954 at the Korman Gallery, later renamed the Zabriskie Gallery, under the ownership of Virginia Zabriskie.[1] She is now exclusively represented by Zabriskie Gallery. Adams has had many solo exhibitions at various other venues including the Fleming Museum at the University of Vermont, Burlington (1977) and the Rutgers University Art Gallery in New Brunswick, New Jersey (1978). In 1993 she was made a member of the National Academy of Design. In 1994, she exhibited at Dartmouth College’s Art Gallery.


Her first solo exhibition at Zabriskie was described in the New York Times as "quiet, but intense," while simultaneously abstract and "filled with lyrical allusions". Among the exhibited works was, Ribbons of Breath (1954), which used brightly colored, intertwining shapes in gouache and watercolor.[5] Adams work was later characterized as "suggest[ing] a desire to assert the tangible actuality of what appears before the eye".[6]

In 1960, Dore Ashton asserted that Pat Adams’s works detail her "visual experiences of nature and her spiritual insights about the cosmos".[7] Ashton places Adams in the same category as artists like Odilon Redon and Mark Tobey, in that they each "seek to find what is 'within' the inmost secrets of the universe".[7] Hilton Kramer further noted that Adams has a "mystical temperament" and is "extraordinarily inventive in conjuring up a world of delicate perceptions and inward feelings".[8] Kramer also notes that her "paintings fill the eye with an almost hypnotic bath of completely delightful visual detail".[8]

In 2003, Pat Adams exhibited a collection of new paintings at the Zabriskie Gallery including both small and larger works. Zabriskie describes this collection as "build[ing] gritty encrustations over rudimentary patterns and shapes...result[ing] in a friction between the particular and the universal".[6] Some paintings included in this exhibition were Into the Garden (2003), Situation (2002), Following From (2002), and What Follows (2003). What Follows, in particular, has been described as "a soft, dusty mist vibrat[ing] through the space...almost impossibly, shift[ing] on occasion into liquid, giving buoyancy to the dot-filled oval and the circles in its field".[5]

A 50th anniversary exhibition of her first show at Zabriskie and the start of her relationship with dealer Virginia Zabriskie was held 2005. Martica Sawin’s essay accompanied this exhibition, in which she describes Adams’s paintings Arriving, (1994) and Late, New, Again, Round (1985) in the same in much of the same context as Ribbons of Breath. Adams’s Sweetness (1990) "offers a microcosm of the many divergent possibilities one might encounter traversing the cosmos of the mind’s eye",[6] and one of her newer paintings Be/Hold (2004) "has the power to draw the eye toward the minutiae of its variegated surfaces".[6] Overall, Pat Adams’s work has been well-received, and she’s even been called "one of the most important abstract painters working today".[5]


"Biography". Zabriskie Gallery. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
"Pat Adams: New Paintings". Zabriskie Gallery. 2003-04. Retrieved 2 May 2010. Check date values in: |date= (help)
Price, Marshall N. (2007). The abstract impulse: fifty years of abstraction at the National Academy, 1956-2006. Hudson Hills. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-887149-17-4.
Adams, Pat (October 25, 2003). "Untitled Lecture, Alumni Symposium, University of California, Berkeley".
Esplund, Lance. "After Nature, But Never Imitative". The New York Sun.
Sawin, Martica. "Pat Adams Paintings: 1954 - 2004". Zabriskie Gallery.
Ashton, Dore (March 3, 1960). "Art: A Mystic Dreamer". New York Times.
Kramer, Hilton (November 27, 1965). "The Imaginative World of Pat Adams". New York Times.

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