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Derrick Adams

Educated at Columbia and the Pratt Institute, Adams is a multidisciplinary artist known for his celebratory portrayal of everyday life as a black American (his Floater series, which depicts members of his family in the swimming pool, was recently used on a swimwear line for Vilebrequin). Often combining both abstract geometric and more realistic shapes, Adams’ work features in the permanent collections of MOMA and the Whitney, as well the acclaimed Dean Collection, a high-profile selection of African-American art collected by Alicia Keys and Kasseem ‘Swizz Beatz’ Dean.

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Did you know?

Adams is the cousin of Rev Run of Run DMC fame.

Country of Birth


Auction Record


Christie's, 'Figure in the Urban Landscape 31', 2021

Notable Collections

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, USA

The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, USA

The Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL, USA

Notable Exhibitions

I Can Show You Better Than I Can Tell You, The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, USA, 2023

Buoyant, Hudson River Museum, New York, USA, 2020

New Icons, Mary Boone Gallery, New York, USA, 2019

Derrick Adams: Transmission, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Denver, USA, 2018

Sanctuary, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, USA, 2018

Future People, Stony Island Arts Bank, Chicago, USA, 2017

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