V

Narratives of African American Art and Identity

Terry Adkins

Budo, 1993

Wood

33.5" (high)


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Budo

In 1990, Terry Adkins commented upon a group of his sculptures: "The language of this work is esoteric, symbolic, abstract...it embraces the legacy of all cultural traditions." Budo easily falls within the parameters of this statement. Like many of Adkins's titles, Budo suggests a non-Western influence. Adkins may be referring to the Japanese term "budo," which relates to martial-arts training; regardless of the precise intent, however, Budo still has an Asian connotation. The ambiguity of the term emphasizes the esoteric nature of the sculpture. In addition to Asian influences, some critics have suggested that Adkins's choice of a wood medium and his interest in African cultures may recall wood-carving traditions on the African continent. The symmetrical, swelling forms, however, transcend any of these possible references. Adkins's interest in music, his ability to play several instruments, and music's relationship to his works of art have been noted often; thus, Budo's rhythmic forms may also be a visual link to musical rhythm.   J. S.

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