Adam Viens | Painting

“Being Returned”


On view April 4 – April 30 , 2018

Art reception on April 14th  Saturday 6 – 8:30 pm

EBK Gallery [small works].
218 Pearl St.
Hartford, CT


The “Being Returned” series consists of five mixed medium works constructed specifically for the unique attributes of the EBK Gallery.  There were three major elements of this space that I wanted to deal with directly: the forced movement through the narrow space created by the two doors on each end, the natural “split” or division of the space caused by the pillar in the center of the gallery (supportive infrastructure), and the orientation of the viewer between the work and the glass window, or (from outside) behind a transparent, but reflective barrier “looking in”.


click on an image to enlarge or forward through




These works address a multitude of topics including: Binaries/ hemispheres, modes of reality, art, exploration of experience, life span development, self reflection, and the personal/ inter-personal/ trans-personal.  Distilled down to universal commonalities, the seemingly disconnected subject matter begins to giggle a riddle as ubiquitous as life itself.

In both the first and last piece of the series there is a dark unknowing.  Each of these works have informative scrawlings of numbers or words that are somehow obscured from the viewer (Indicating that we are born and die with what we cannot understand).  Though we are forced to perceive this series in a linear manor due to the design of the space and our experience of space and time, these two works pose that the beginning/ ending is interchangeable, or one and the same, and suggest the cyclical nature of reality.  One can enter and exit from either direction and cycle through as many times as they wish.

The second and fourth paintings have exposed center beams, mimicking the pillar in the gallery, the beams both support these structures and divide their compositions.  Here a template for comparison and contradiction is created.  The function of intellect is to discriminate, divide, compare, measure, and categorize, however ultimate reality can never be an object of reasoning because it lies beyond the realms of the senses, and of intellect, from which our words and concepts are derived.  The split in these works is suggestive of many age-old dualities: Eastern vs. Western philosophies, science/ math vs. art/ literature, ration vs. intuition, good vs. evil,  etc. (binaries/ hemispheres)

The center painting is a representation of the “now”.  The difficulty of being fully present in, or examining “now” is presented here by its relative location.  Blocked by the pillar from the street view, this work cannot be seen from the same vantage points as the others ( the “past or “future”) and must be viewed more closely to understand.  This is also the only painting in the series that has no reflective surfaces which is another analogy for self examination and it’s difficulties in the present.

These works are all self-referential and the reflective surfaces included in the others reflect the viewer and other viewers in the room, as well as the paintings themselves in the glass windows (vice versa), placing the viewer in the middle of a constantly shifting dialogue.  These works are never the same and depend upon who is in the room with and around you, and where in the room you are (personal/ inter-personal/ trans-personal).  These also each include elements that are only possible to see after we have moved past them or before we get to them (foresight/ retrospect).

The intention here is to place the viewer in a position where their experience, what they think of the work, and what they think of themselves all becomes part of the work. in this way the work is passively interactive and exist in the curious plane between sculpture and painting.  These self aware artworks comment on the concept of art itself: No one’s experience of the work will be the same and what you take away from it will depend on what you bring to it.  – A.V.


Press and Reviews:

Review by Artist/Writer Gil Scullion


Gallery Sheet and Pricing PDF


Artist Text & Resume

I consider these works, “Depressive Realism”, a term adopted from the 1970’s psychological hypotheses that the depressed individual has a more accurate depiction of reality and themselves than the non-depressed individual. This term also carries a satirical reference to the “ism’s” of art history. What attracts me to this is not the pessimism involved, but rather the undetermined origin of the experience (does the depressed perspective create this view of the world, or does the depressed state of the world create this perspective?), such paradoxes in cyclical thoughts remain reflective of life itself.

Here, the enigma of life finds formal elegance in the elegiac poems of visual language. The works are equivocal equations of human debility, layered with suggestions, associations, connotations, and self- references. Both, the way into the work, and the way out is dependent on dissection and the consequent pursuit of context clues. Much like the interpretation of a dream, one must first find their bearings in order for relationships, themes, and motifs to become apparent. If one attempts to greedily ascertain meaning in a glance they will be left with only the stale taste of formalism.

I use material as metaphor and no inclusion is desultory. Similar to alchemy, everyday objects and materials are combined to become consummated and transcend their mundanity. However, constant attention is called to the materiality of the art object and its honest inabilities. Down to the very sub-straights that these compositions are constructed on there is a hap-hazardous handling at play that suggests the constant white noise of the shoddy cultural values consistently humming beneath “Civilized” societies. Somewhere between sculpture and painting, these works exist on a curious plane that we might enter as viewers (such as painting), escaping our affixed character of life, or who’s very real and physical presence as art objects might magnify and annunciate our tangible, and temporary presence in here and now (such as sculpture).

My interests lie in philosophical contention and the dialectic created by dichotomy (detached, controlled formalism vs personally impassioned impulse, intangible denotation vs the finite physicality of the art object, and experiment vs experience, so on). Though a work may be personally motivated in its creation and content, every work has an undeniable undertone of the universality of human experience. – A.V.


CV / Resume

Solo Exhibits


“Being Returned”, EBK Gallery, Hartford, CT,

“Linguistics Beheld”, ArtWalk, Hartford Public Library, CT

“Li(v)es Underground”, Hygienic Gallery, New London, CT


“The Medium is the Message,” NCCC Campus Gallery, Winsted, CT, 06098, Oct.

“Depressive Realism,” The Clare Gallery at the Franciscan Center for Urban Ministry, Hartford, CT, 06103, Apr.

“Depressive Realism,” West Hartford Therapy Center, LLC, West Hartford, CT, 06107, Jun. – Sept. 2016


“Efforts of Seeking,” Artspace, Hartford CT, 06105, Oct.


Two Person Exhibits


“Abstraction/Representation,” ft. Adam Veins and Peter Waite, Five Points Gallery, Torrington, CT, 06790, Jun. – Jul. 2017


Group Shows


“See Me/Feel Me,” Spectrum Gallery, Centerbook, CT, 06409, Mar. 2018


“Untitled,” Artspace, Hartford, CT, 06105, Sept. 2017

“Notes From Underground,” Artspace, Hartford, CT, 06015, Jul. 2017


“Untitled,” Artspace, Hartford, CT, 06105, Sept. 2016


“Coming Home,” Dehn Gallery (MCC), Manchester, CT, 06040, Apr. 2015

“Jerry’s Juried Exhibition,” Artspace, Hartford, CT, 06105, May. 2015

“Repeat After Me,” 5404 Studio, Massapequa, NY, Jul. 2015

“Rough Around the Edges,” Artspace, Hartford, CT, 06105, Aug. 2015

“Untitled,” Artspace, Hartford, CT 06105, Sept. 2015


“Rough Around the Edges,” Artspace, Hartford, CT, 06105

“Untitled,” Artspace, Hartford, CT, 06105, Sept.


“Rough Around the Edges,” Artspace, Hartford, CT, 06105

“Untitled,” Artspace, Hartford, CT, 06105, Sept.


“Year of the Goddess,” MAC 650 Gallery, Middletown, CT, 06457, Aug.



2015      “Best in Show,” Open Studios Exhibit, by Artspace, Hartford, CT, 06105

2014      “Arts Association Award,” by Manchester Community College, Manchester, CT, 06040

2013      “Outstanding Original Work in Psychology,” by Manchester Community College, Manchester, CT, 06040

2013      “Arts Association Award,” by Manchester Community College, Manchester, CT, 06040

2013      “Hans Weiss Scholarship,” by Manchester Community College, Manchester, CT, 06040



Manchester Community College, Manchester, CT  2011 – 2014



Manchester Community College, Manchester, CT 06040

Represented in Several Private Collections (info. on request)

Republic [at the Linden], Hartford, CT, 06106


Selected Bibliography

“Torrington: Five Points Gallery Announces New Shows Opening”, The Register Citizen, June 13, 2017.

Catherine Wynn, “Depressive Realism: Mixed Media by Adam Viens”, Past Exhibitions, Clare Gallery, April 2016.

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