One of the great conceptual artists of the twenty-first century, Terry Adkins (1953–2014) was renowned for his pioneering work across mediums, from sculpture, drawing, and site-specific installation to photography, video, and performance. Terry Adkins: Infinity is Always Less Than One accompanies the first institutional posthumous exhibition of Adkins's sculptural production. While Adkins is often recognized for his musical and performative practice, this exhibition focuses on his complex memorials and monuments to historical figures. The exhibition showcases four of his major series, dedicated to four distinct figures: Bessie Smith, John Brown, Zora Neale Hurston, and Jimi Hendrix. These series are presented alongside a group of early sculptures to reveal the development of the Adkins's mature practice.
The exhibition highlights Adkins's crucial contributions to sculpture and to cultural protest, featuring major works that have not been viewed in decades. It explores significant periods and influences in Adkins's career, beginning with transitional hand-wrought sculptures and continuing with his major immersive installations. His often elegiac and always resonant objects challenge dominant historical narratives and prompt a rethinking of ways of being and moving in the world that are shaped by the legacies of displacement and the sociability and community that happen despite it. Adkins's work also enlarges the historical legacies of the postwar avant-garde while reminding us of the immaterial legacies that are passed on through ritual and sound.