Carris Adams Artist Page

Carris Adams



“Adams toys with the mutability of language itself, deploying fonts and phrases in layers of idiosyncratic amalgamations. Words and phrases meld and dissolve into each other, but they never entirely cancel each other out. Adams paints palimpsests, working over still-legible texts to establish contradictions and dualities in tension. To examine her work is to be a detective and a semiotician, or even an archaeologist.” –Nicole mauser, “breakout artists 2017,” new city

“My work explores the signs/signifiers that mark our landscapes. Through the materiality of painting, drawing, and printmaking I embody the sense, shape and experience of discovering these markers.  My studio practice is peripatetic and reliant on objects that cross my path during my day-to-day travels. Once in the studio, through the manipulation of formal elements, I work to highlight how the markers are often tied to the various social, cultural, political and economic circumstances under which we labor. My translation of a marker becomes an investigation between manifesting a memory, legibility and illegibility. Therefore the work points to the enduring signifiers of shared space, double meanings/readings, and the residues of class while guiding viewers to recall their personal and collective memories.”


“I grew up riding buses and using signs as markers and as points for navigating the city. In doing this, it was very clear to me what kinds of things were available in a Black or Brown space versus a white space. This included the mutability of the language, the age of the surface, typographic design and how history and politics are intertwined in all these markers within the landscape.”

“Carris Adams, Sebastien Boncy, and Matt Manalo: The Ways They Are” at San Jacinto College South Campus Gallery, Houston. Exhibition Dates: February 3 – March 27, 2020. Courtesy Glasstire TV.


Read more:

Carris Adams in “Another Idea” at the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry (downloadable print) 

“Seeing Signs: An Interview with Carris Adams,” Tara Betts, May 11, 2019, Sixty Inches from Center

“Artist of the Week: Carris Adams,” LVL3, May 12, 2020