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Adria Pecora (b., 1965, Newark, NJ) is an American visual artist who lives and works in the Southwest.

Adria’s art is invested in sensuality, even as it seeks to stimulate the intellect and spirit. Grounded in form and language and aligned with architectural concerns, her paintings often incorporate words and geometric abstraction and reflect a reductive aesthetic that may appear to extend a genealogy of minimal art. Yet, Adria’s process involves traditional fine arts techniques. Understood more perfectly, hers is a feminine, artisanal, counterpoint to the industrial manufacture and collaborative authorship extoled by minimalism and conceptual art. Her use of composition presents a dialectics of order and collapse, logos and chaos. A prevalent focus of her critique is the mediated landscape or ‘noise’, the disquieting, defining, feature of modernity. 

Adria seldom exhibits. Her art was last shown at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Unapologetic: All Women, All Year, 2020. It has been featured at the Phoenix Art Museum (2011) and in a tribute to Sol LeWitt at MassMoCA (2010). Her work is represented in the collections of Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art; Kala Art Institute, Berkeley; Santa Fe Art Institute; Skidmore College; and the Franklin Furnace artist book collection at MoMA/PS 1. 
Adria launched her career as a professor at her alma maters: School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Skidmore College in the 1990s. She has been faculty at New York University (1999-05) and Paradise Valley Community College (Phoenix, 2005-present). She held a managerial position at The Cooper Union (New York City, 2002-04). A focus of her work in academia has been community outreach.


Residencies and fellowships
Adria was a scholar-in-residence at the School of Criticism and Theory (Cornell University, 2017). She attended Jorinde Voigt‘s masterclass at Autocenter (Berlin 2013). She was an artist-in-residence at Kala Art Institute (Berkeley, 2014); Santa Fe Art Institute (2008); Worldstudio Foundation (2001-02); and Contemporary Artists Center, (North Adams 1996). She received a fellowship from Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (2008) and a grant ajudicated by Thomas Krens and Walter Hopps (1996). She also received a grant from the Contemporary Forum (Phoenix Art Museum, 2010). As a graduate student, she was awarded a Traveling Fellowship and a Trustee Fellowshipfrom School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1989-91).

Adria’s interest in art was fostered during childhood, assisted by a friend's parents, Alfred Jensen and Regina Bogat. She studied art at Skidmore College and received the Bachelor of Science in 1987. There, she culitvated appreciation of the New York School, studying with Jeff Elgin, David Miller, Robert Boyers, and Harry F. Gaugh; attending lectures by Dorothy Dehner, Dore Ashton, and Clement Greenberg and symposia held at the New York State Summer Writers Institute. Her work with Miller encouraged her painting process to adopt a calligraphic aspect and to broker focus on lyricism and language. Encouraged by Dehner and Ashton to study in Paris, Adria spent a year abroad, attending the University of Paris and the painting atelier of Pierre Matthey de l'Etang at the National School of Fine Arts (École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris). Under the auspices of a full-tuition scholarship, Adria obtained the Master of Fine Arts in 1991 from School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to her field of expertise in painting and drawing, she studied photography with Colin Westerbeck and Joan Fontcuberta.

Artist statement
My work speaks to personal experience while seeking dialogue with historical examples. I tend to organize it into distinct bodies governed by particular concerns, materials, and processes.
I am interested in evoking experiences that are equally sensual, spiritual, and intellectual. I tend to reflect on the human condition, the urban environment and the passage of time. Themes include entropy, loss, and obsolescence.
Recent work incorporates motifs of entrenchment and evanescence through processes of mark-making, writing, engraving, erasure, and veiling.

Copyright © Adria Pecora 2024