Modrall Sperling Law Firm

Kenneth Adams

Perhaps the most prominent artist in the law firm’s collection is Kenneth M. Adams.

Born in Topeka, Kansas, and inducted into the Taos Society of Artists in 1926, Adams taught at the University of New Mexico until 1963.

Adams spent two years in Europe, where he paid close attention to the fluid abstraction of the late work of Cezanne. He had also spent time with Andrew Dasburg at the summer school of the Art Students League in Woodstock, New York, from where he followed his teacher to Taos, New Mexico.

Strongly influenced by both men, but with a stronger, more highly developed American sensibility than either, Adams was fascinated by volume and form, as well as the challenges of still life, especially flowers, whose delicacy he chose to represent in his later work with a hard, almost lapidary precision.

Adams also displayed a curiosity about mundane tasks and the people who performed them. Three prints from the Modrall Sperling collection offer excellent examples. “Indian Woman on Bench” is at once formal and restrained, and allows its subject, a Pueblo woman, the full measure of her intellect and dignity. The two scenes from northern New Mexico, “Two Women and a Child at a Spring” and “Adobe Brickmaker,” sharpen our understanding of a life that was simple and hard, and centered on precious fundamentals like family and water.

Visit Kenneth Adams’ website.