Historical Journal

Journal Archives,Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Archives,Reviews

Adela Akers: Recent Works

January 10, 1986
Judith Stein

A writer and curator, studied at Barnard College, and has a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Eye of the Sixties, Richard Bellamy and the Transformation of Modern Art, (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016). Her curatorial projects include Red Grooms, A Retrospective, for the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and The Figurative Fifties, New York School Figurative Expressionism, co-curated with Paul Schimmel. Her exhibition, I Tell My Heart: The Art of Horace Pippin, traveled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1995, and earned a best catalogue award from AICA/USA. Her articles, interviews and reviews have appeared in Art in America, Art News, and The New York Times Book Review, as well as on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air and Morning Edition. Among her honors is a Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant; a Pew Fellowship for literary non-fiction; and a Lannan Foundation writing residency in Marfa, Texas.

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"Before coming to the Tyler School of Art, in 1972, where she now holds the position of professor, Akers taught at the Cooper Square Art Center, NY, the New School for Social Research, NY and the Penland School of Crafts, NC."

January 10 through February 23, 1986
Artist Statement
Sea and Sky are inspiration to my work. My attraction to architecture has something to do with my affinity with structure and my need for order. Weaving combines structure and order and offers me the best way to put together my visions.
Cross-country travel from California and trips to the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico marked the beginning of a change in my work and a merge of experience and vision. The intensity of light and color, the exuberance of the people, and the life style in the islands brought to the present the time spent in Cuba where my formative years were spent. Places where the air and water have a brilliance greater than I have ever seen anywhere else. This intensity stimulates the desire to invent intense color intervals. The sea always constant and a presence in my work becomes a reflecting surface, a mirror to the colors I see everywhere.
-Adela Akers

A.M./PM., 1984
47 x 54 x 5″
Sisal, linen & wool
46 x 66 x 5″
Sisal, linen & wool
62 x 126 x 6″
Sisal, linen & wool
46 x 78 x 5″
Sisal, linen & wool
46 x 78 x 5″
Sisal, linen & wool
60 x180 x 6″
Sisal, linen, wool & metallic thread

Artist Biography
Adela Akers was born in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, in 1933, and spent her childhood in Cuba. In 1955, she received a degree from the University of Havana. She studied art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1957-60) and at Cranbrook Academy of Art (1960-61, 1962-63). Before coming to the Tyler School of Art, in 1972, where she now holds the position of professor, Akers taught at the Cooper Square Art Center, NY, the New School for Social Research, NY and the Penland School of Crafts, NC.
She has received numerous fellowships and grants from Temple University as well as those from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (1983), National Endowment for the Arts (1980, 1974, 1971), New Jersey State Council on the Arts (1971), and the Centas Foundation (1967-68, 1968-69). Her work is represented in many permanent collections, including those of the Museum of Contemporary Crafts, NY, Museum of Art, Providence, RI, and the Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY.

Solo Exhibitions (selected)
Modem Master Tapestries, NY, 1984; The Mandell Gallery, Los Angeles, 1981; The Triangle Gallery, San Francisco, 1981; The Hadler Galleries, NY, 1977.
Group Shows (selected) Multiplicity in Clay-Metal-Fiber, Skidmore College Invitational, 1984; Jacquard Textiles, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, and Cooper-Hewitt Museum, NY, 1982; Fiber: Thread and Cloth Forms, Dayton Art Institute, 1981; Fibers, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC, 1980; 8 Artists, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1978; Fiberworks, International Invitational Exhibition, Cleveland Museum of Art, 1977; National Crafts Exhibition, Kranert Art Museum, University of Illinois, Urbana, 1976; Textiles: Past & Prologue, Greenville County Museum, Greenville, SC, 1976; Frontiers in Contemporary American Weaving, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, 1976; Con-Tex-Ture, Invitational Weaving Exhibition, Fort Wayne, IN, 1974; Objects: Made in U.S.A., School of Art Galleries, Kent State University, Kent, OH, 1973; Pacesetters & Prototypes. Weavers: A Cranbrook Retrospective, The Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, MI, 1973; Forms Invitational, Fiber/Clay/Metal, Fine Arts Gallery, State University College, Oneonta, NY, 1971; Ceramics 70 Plus Woven Forms, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY, 1970; Objects: USA, Johnson Wax Collection, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 1969; Experiencias Artistico Textiles, International Exhibition of Textiles, Museum of Contemporary Art, Madrid, Spain, 1969; Fourth National Invitational Crafts Exhibition, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 1968, Michigan Art Yesterday & Today, Flint Institute of Art, Flint, MI, 1963; Michigan Artists-Craftsmen, The Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, MI, 1963; Young Americans 1962, Museum of Contemporary Crafts, New York City, 1962.

Bibliography (selected)
Battenfield, Jackie. IKAT, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1980.
Creager, Clara. Weaving, New York: Doubleday, 1979.
Held, Shirley Weaving: A Handbook for the Fiber Artist, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1980.

Janeiro, Jan. “The Line as Movement, Adela Akers,” Fiberarts 8 (March/April 1981): 70-72
Scheinman, Pamela. “Adela Akers: The Loomed Plane,” Craft Horizons 37 (February 1977): 24-25, 61-62.
The Morris Gallery displays the work of outstanding contemporary artists with a connection to Philadelphia, determined by birth, schooling, or residence.The exhibitions are chosen by a committee composed of area artists, museum personnel and collectors, and the curatorial staff of the Academy. Currently serving on the Morris Gallery Exhibition Committee are: Cynthia Carlson, Bill Freeland, Ofelia Garcia, Dr. Helen Herrick, Jay Richardson Massey, Cheryl McClenney, John Moore, Eileen Rosenau, Mark Rosenthal; Academy staff Judith Stein, Morris Gallery coordinator, Frank Goodyear, Jr., Linda Bantel, Kathleen Foster, Betty Romanella; and Academy students Ed Lewis and Anna Yates.
Copyright, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1986
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