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Mac Adams

Mac Adams was born in 1943 in South Wales. He lives and works in New York.

For more than 30 years Mac Adams has explored the narrative potential of photography and installation, composing and constructing mysterious scenes on the border of social norms. Potential homicides, victims and could-be assassins populate his compositions, held together by a series of clues, carefully and methodically left by artist.

The story and its fragmented reading is the essential element in the work of Mac Adams, a leading figure in the narrative photography movement of the 1970s. Whereas Conceptual Art and Minimalism accessed pieces of evidence, documents, and auxiliary information from outside the work, Mac Adams continues to reveal a story from entirely within the frame. Taking his inspiration from popular culture, crime movies, film noire, and mystery novels, he creates static fictions within a tableau.

Using a process that is cinematographic as much as photographic, theatrical as sculptural, he invites viewers into the space-time of the work. These frozen moments, like the space between sequential moving images, are imbedded with multiple narratives, speaking from an indefinite place found between what we see and what we know exists.

Traverser la nuit: works from the collection of Antoine de Galbert

Group show with works by Mac Adams, Robert Breer
MAAT, Lisbon
March 12 - August 8, 2022


Solo show
Museu Oscar Niemeyer, Curitiba
August 26 - March 6, 2022

The Invisible Image: gb agency at Sfeir Semler, Hamburg

Duo show with works by Mac Adams and Dove Allouche
Sfeir-Semler, Hamburg
Opening: June 16, 12 to 6 pm
Exhibition days: June 17-26, 2021

Deux Scénarios pour une collection

Group show with works by Mac Adams and Cally Spooner
Frac Normandie Rouen
13 March - 15 August 2021

Mac Adams, Gone from my sight

A solo show by Mac Adams
gb agency, Paris
From 25 January to 22 February 2020

Activity of Matter

Group show
gb agency, Paris
From November 30th 2019 to January 11th, 2020

Marc Adams, Mens Rea

Solo exhibition
Centro Cultural Fiesp, Sao Paulo
April 18 to July 8, 2018

Mac Adams and Elina Brotherus

A duo show
gb agency
Show from Jan 27th to March 10th, 2018

Mac Adams, Homecoming

A solo show
gb agency
from Feb 3rd to March 25th, 2017

Fiac 2015

Art Fair
Grand Palais, Paris
22-25 October 2015

Mac Adams: Dialogues & Erasure

A solo exhibition by Mac Adams
gb agency
June 7th to July 19th, 2014

The Narrative Void

MUDAM, Luxembourg

Mac Adams

A solo exhibition by Mac Adams
gb agency
From June 25th to July 28th, 2011

Mac Adams, The Narrative Void

Musée Nicephore Niepce, Châlon sur Saône

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Group exhibition
gb agency
27 March to 30 April 2010

Nord, Nord-Ouest

Group show
gb agency
From June 25 to July 25, 2009

Mac Adams: 07-70

Solo show by Mac Adams
gb agency
21 April to 26 May 2007

Mac Adams: Beneath the Shadow

Solo exhibition by Mac Adams
gb agency
9 November to 21 December 2002

Books and catalogues (selection)

Mens Rea: A Cartografia do Mistério, A Caixa Cultural a Ars et Vita Rio de Janeiro
Sombras e Mistérios, Caixa Cultural, Recife
Mens Rea: A Cartografia do Mistério, Festival Artes Vertentes, Centro Cultural FIESP, Sao Paulo
Trapping Lions in the Scottish Highlands, catalog, Aspen Art Museum
Récits, formes de récits, catalogue Photo Festival Lianzhou
Mac Adams - The Narrative Void, various authors, Musée Nicéphore Niépce, Chalon sur Saône; MUDAM, Luxembourg, Editions Le Bec en lair, Manosque
Après la photographie - de l’argentique à la révolution numérique, Quentin Bajac, Découvertes Gallimard, Paris
Mois de la photo à Paris, Maison européenne de la Photographie, Actes sud., pp. 246 - 247
L’effroi du présent, Dominique Baqué, Flammarion, Paris,
Mac Adams - Mens Rea, various authors, Editions de lOeil, Paris
Mac Adams - Beyond a Shadow of Doubt, text by Nancy Princenthal, Editions joca seria, Musées de Châteauroux
Art and Photography, edited by David Campany, Phaidon
Images au centre 02, Photographie contemporaine et Patrimoine, text by Sylvain Lizon, Editions du Patrimoine
Crimes of Perception, texts by Yannick Vigouroux and Judicaël Lavrador, Editions du Regard, Paris
One Hundred Lies, text by Patrick Bouvet, Editions Christophe Daviet-Thery, Paris
Mac Adams, Silence of Shadows, text by Norbert Lynton, published by Cardiff Bay Arts Trust
EXTRAetORDINAIRE, text by Pascal Beausse, Actes Sud
Chemical Traces. Photography and Conceptual Art, 1968-1998, Frens Art Gallery, Kingston upon Hill
Fine Art Photography, Graphis Publications
20th Century Photography, Museum Ludwig Köln
The Bhudda Book, Frank Olinsky, Chronical Publications
Mac Adams, Meditation, Editions CEAAC Strasbourg, Text Catherine Trautman, Adrien Schmitt, Robert Grossmann.
L’Impunité de l’art, by Jacques Soulillou, Editions Du Seuil, Paris
Mac Adams, by Jacques Soulillou, Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain, Limousin
Question of Genres, by Jean-Marc Huitorel, Reims, France
Intimacy, essay by Tomak Lemprecht, National Arts Club, New York City
Quotations, The Second History of Art, The Aidrich Museum of Contemporary Art and Museum of Contemporary Art at Wright State University
The Order of Things, Toward a Politic of Still Life, text by Susan M. Canning, Widner Gallery Trinity College and Real Art Ways, Hartford
The Surrogate Figure; Intercepted Identities in Contemporary Photography, text by Julia Ballerini, Center for Photography, Woodstock, New York
Water as Environmental Art, Shoichiro Higuchi Kashiwashobo Publishing Company, Tokyo
Public Art, Urban Sculpture of 50 Cities in USA, Shoichiro Higuchi
Insect Politics: Body Horror/Social Order text by Stephen Derrickson, Hallwalls Publications
Idea, International Advertising Art Series 16: Art in New York Today, texts by Shoichiro Higuch
Visual Paradox, Truth and Fiction in the Photographic Image, text by Joanne Cubbs (pp. 9/43), John Michael Kohler Arts Centre, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
West Art and the Law, text by Saul Touster, L’ observatoire, Farideh Cadot Gallery
Balkon Mit Facher, 25 Jahre Berliner Kunstlerprogram Des D.A.A.D
Sequence (con) Sequence, (Sub)versions of Photography in the 80 s, edited by Julia Ballerini, Aperture Book
Mac Adams: Fountainhead, text by Lynda Forsha, Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, California
Mac Adams, Serpent Bearer, text by Donald Wall, Montclair State College
Privileged Eye, text by Max Kosloff, University of New Mexico Press
Art and Photography, interactions Since 1945, texts by Andy Grundberg and Kathleen McCarthy Guass, Abbeville Press, NY
Abrications, text by Anne Hoy, Abbeville Press, NY Publications
This is Not a Photograph, Twenty Years of Large Scale Photography 1966 to 1986, text by Joe Jacobs, John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art, Florida
Intimate/Intimate, Charles Mayer, Univ. of Indiana
Human Interest: Fifty Years of British Art About People, Selection by Norbert Lynton
Body and Soul, Aspects of Recent Figurative sculpture, Sarah Rogers-Lafferty
A Journey Through Contemporary Art with Nigel Greenwood, Haywood Gallery, Arts Council of Great Britain, London
Drawing a Contemporary Approach, Claudia Betti / Teel Sale, Hold / Rinehart / Winston
The Hayward Annual 1985: A Journey Through Contemporary Art, by Nigel Greenwood, publisher Hayward Gallery and Arts Council of Great Britain
El Arte Narrativo, text by Bruce D. Kurtz, Museo RufinoTamayo, Mexico City & P.S.1, Long Island City, NY
New Jersey Arts Inclusion Program 1978-1984
1ers Ateliers Internationaux De Fontevraud, text by Michel Enrici
Content, A Contemporary Focus 1974-1984, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture, text by Kynaston McShine, Museum of Modern Art, New York
Aspects of New Narrative Art, Debra Brickner Balke, Berkshire Museum, Massachusetts Aspects of New Narrative Art: Mac Adams, Nicholas Africano, Dotty Attie, David Bates, Richard Bosman, Roger Brown, Morgan Bulkeley, Robert Colescott, Susan Eder.Berkshire Museum. Exhibition catalogue. essay Debra BrickerBalken
Mac Adams, text by Bernard Martin, Galerie Arlogos, Nantes
In Plato’s Cave, Abigail Solomon-Godeau, Marlborough Gallery, New York
Works from the Krauss Collection, Neue National Galerie, Berlin
Esthétique & Rhétorique, Mac Adams, New Mysteries, Furor Magazine #8,
New Trends, The Gallery of World Photography, text by Weston Naef, Shueish
Still Modern After All These Years, texts by Brooks Johnson/Thomas W. Styron a Publishing Company
Tableaux, Nine Contemporary Sculptors, texts by Michael Klein/Robert Stearns, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati
Monograph, Mac Adams Mysteries, text by Bernard Blistène, Musée de Toulon
Mystery and Meaning in the Work of Mac Adams, text by Kate Linker, the Neue Galerie Sammlung Ludwig, Aachen
New Direction, Contemporary American Art, Introduction by Sam Hunter
Photo/Documents, Photo/Narratives and Photographs, Robert C. Morgan
British Artists in Berlin, Two Decades of the D.A.A.D, ZG. Magazine, Artist and Camera
Mac Adams Mysteries, text by Kim Levin, Welsh Arts Council
Model of History, Skira Annuel
Class and Classlessness in American Art, Carter Ratcliff
Photographie als Medium, text by R.H. Krauss, V.A.N. publication
Narrative Art, text by Antje Von Graeventz, Groninger Museum, Netherlands
Concept/Narrative/Document, Document: Recent Photographic Works From the Morton Neumann Family Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, by Tannenbaum, Judith
Mac Adams Mysteries, Meic Stephens, International Specialized Book Services
American Narrative/Story Art, 1967-1977, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas (collective catalogue)
Adams/ Beckley/ Collins, text by Eric Cameron, Alberta College of Art, October
Documenta 6, Photography/Film/Video
Eight Small Sculptures, book published by the artist

Mac Adams
The Narrative Void, 2010


Texts by Mac Adams, François Cheval, Alexandre Quoi
Musée Nicéphore Nièpce
Mudam Luxembourg, Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean
Editions le bec en l’air
ISBN : 978-2-916073-63-7

Mac Adams
Mens Rea, 2006


Texts by Gaël Teicher, Richard Price, Sarah Weeks, Yoann Gourmel, Jean-Bernard Pouy
Editions de l’Oeil, Paris
English / French
108 pages
ISBN: 2351370325

Mac Adams
Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt, 2004

Exhibition catalogue

Musée de Chateauroux
Editions Joca Seria
Text by Nancy Princenthal
139 pages
ISBN 2848090278

Mac Adams
Crimes of Perception, 2001


Editions du Regard
Texts by Judicaël Lavrador, Yannick Vigouroux
English / French, color and B&W illustrations
ISBN : 2-84105-136-6

Exhibition view, Mens rea, A cartografia do mistério, Museum Oscar Niemeyer, Curitiba, 2021. Curated by Luiz Gustavo Carvalho and Ars et Vita. Photo Marcello Kawase.

Exhibition view, Mens rea, A cartografia do mistério, Museum Oscar Niemeyer, Curitiba, 2021. Curated by Luiz Gustavo Carvalho and Ars et Vita. Photo Marcello Kawase.

Exhibition view, Mens rea, A cartografia do mistério, Museum Oscar Niemeyer, Curitiba, 2021. Curated by Luiz Gustavo Carvalho and Ars et Vita. Photo Marcello Kawase.

Exhibition view, Mac Adams: Gone from my sight, gb agency, Paris, 2020

Exhibition view, Mac adams: Mens Rea, A Cartografia do Mistério, Caixa Cultural Rio de Janeiro, 2019

Exhibition view, Mac adams: Mens Rea, A Cartografia do Mistério, Caixa Cultural Rio de Janeiro, 2019

Detail of exhibition view, Mac adams: Mens Rea, A Cartografia do Mistério, Caixa Cultural Rio de Janeiro, 2019

Exhibition view, SoixanteDixSept, Hôtel du Pavot …, Parc Culturel de Rentilly, Paris, 2017

Exhibition View, Mac Adams The Narrative Void, Musée Nicéphore Niepce, Châlon sur Soane, 2010

Exhibition view, Entre Sculpture et Photographie, Musée Rodin, Paris, 2016


Gone from my Sight, 2019
The Liminal Body, 2019
Cartography of a Crime, 2018
Circumstantial Evidence, 2016
Thinking of Nabovok, 2010
Post Modern Tragedies, 1986–2013
Candy, 1981
Greta, 1981
Mystery Fragments, 1981
The Bathroom, 1978
Mystery, Bicycle, 1977
Mystery, The Whisper, 1976–1977
The Homecoming, 1976–2016
Mystery, Cardiff Bus Stop, 1975
Mystery, Conversation, 1975
Scarfs, 1975
Mysteries, 1974–1981
The Predicament, 1974