Mel Adamson




Possibly by coincidence, my work began pushing toward non-objective about the same time as the start of the covid pandemic. Since that time my painting process has also become more reductive. I wipe back, rub out, add, cover; add, subtract. There is a tug-of-war between absence and presence, starting and ending. This way of working is uncomfortable because it un-does methods of problem solving that I am familiar with. But in return is the possibility to glimpse an altogether different way of putting something together.

Many of the 2022 drawings are made with a continuous, non-overlapping line from start to finish. I find this process calming at a time when it feels the world is coming apart. The three-dimensional wire pieces are also constructed primarily with one piece of thread or wire. All three-dimensional pieces are made from recycled art packaging and supplies, altering the materials’ original function. I welcome the non-preciousness of the materials. Working with an object rather than the representation of an object has meant different questions and problems are there to consider.


Mel Adamson is a painter currently working both figuratively and non-figuratively. Her sources of inspiration range from everyday events to time spent in nature. Adamson received her MFA from the University of California at Berkeley where she was awarded the San Francisco Foundation Jack and Gertrude Murphy Fine Arts Fellowship. She has exhibited locally and internationally. Her paintings are included in public and private collections in the US and Europe. Adamson has taught at San Jose State University, California College of the Arts, and Stanford University. Adamson lives in Oslo, Norway. She is originally from Berkeley, CA and maintains a studio in Richmond, California.