Bruce Adams: Myths and Lies

Bruce Adams, Helen, 2013, oil on linen, 48 x 72 in.

Bruce Adams: Myths and Lies

Apr 13, 2014 - Jun 29, 2014


Referring to the title of the exhibition, Myths and LiesBruce Adams said, “A lie is an untruth you tell others; a myth is an untruth you tell yourself. Paintings are lies we accept as truth.

“In Myths and Lies I’m adopting a kind of ‘non-idealized idealism.’ Mythology and allegory are the ostensible premise for these paintings, but a variety of topics, including notions of beauty, gender, and painting itself are the actual content. My mythical figures are real people, friends and acquaintances who volunteer as subjects.”

Adams describes these works as  “disjointed narratives that exist somewhere between the sacred and profane; the mystical and the comical and the historical and the new.”

Bruce Adams: Myths and Lies was on display at the Castellani Art Museum from April 13 through June 29, 2014.

Bruce Adams is best known as a conceptually based figurative painter who references various (often historical) painting styles. In exploring the act of painting, Adams peels back the layers of meaning inherent in making and viewing art. Formally trained in art education at Buffalo State College, Adams considers his true education to be his involvement in Western New York's contemporary art scene, starting in the 1980s as director/curator of a small storefront gallery called PeopleArt-Buffalo and then with Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center as an Artist Advisory Committee co-founder, long-time board member and board president.

Adams has straddled the fine art and art education communities as a painter, installation and performance artist, public school art teacher, college instructor, arts advocate and, most recently, critical and creative writer. Adams' installations and performances have been staged in public venues such as Buffalo's First Night, the Urban Art Project and most notably the public art event Artists and Models Affair. Adams has exhibited extensively and his work is included in the collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; Anderson Gallery, State University of New York at Buffalo; Burchfield Penney Art Center and the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University.  He is also represented in many private collections. In 2007 Adams was given an extensive mid-career survey exhibition titled Bruce Adams, Half Life 1980-2006 at the Anderson Gallery, State University of New York at Buffalo. Adams won the Bronze award in art criticism at the National City and Regional Magazine Editorial and Design Awards.

This exhibiton was curated by Michael J. Beam, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections, Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University, NY.

Bruce Adams:  Myths and Lies was made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Click here to access a digital copy of the exhibit catalog.