The Work of Derrick Adams and other Featured Artists

Don’t Touch My Derrick Adams

In one of the episodes of the TV series Empire, Cookie, the tough family matriarch, tells two men who are moving a painting, “Don’t you touch my Derrick Adams.”

Adams, the Brooklyn-based, Baltimore born artist was commissioned to create a portrait, that features prominently, for the show.

A still from Beyoncé’s film Black is King, 2020.

Adams’ work looks at personal and political aspects of Black culture in America. His work now appears in Beyoncé’s latest film, Black is King.

Derrick Adams
Style Variation 10, 2019
Featured in Beyoncé’s film Black is King.

Available at VFA is Adams’ Self Portrait on Float, part of his Floaters series that depicts joyful scenes of African Americans at play. “Sometimes a normal social gathering can represent a radical space.” Adams said. “I’m often inspired by the people around me at parties, and how they are making important changes to society. You can go to a social event and still get things accomplished.”

Works from the Floaters series are part of an exhibit called Derrick Adams: Buoyant, currently on display at the Hudson River Museum. The show will run through October 18, 2020.

Also featured in Beyoncé’s film is work by New York-based, Swiss artist, Ugo Rondinone.

The works of Derrick Adams and Ugo Rondinone are both featured at VFA.

Sculpture Milwaukee Features Work by Alex Katz, Julian Opie and more of our Featured Artists

Sculpture Milwaukee is an annual event that can be viewed safely…both in person and virtually…now and into the winter months.

Workers in Milwaukee installing Jim Dine’s 2019 sculpture, Jim’s Head with Branches.

The downtown exhibit includes works by some of our favorite artists, including Jim Dine, Alex Katz, Julian Opie and Carlos Rolón.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of featured artists for sale at VFA.

Alex Greenberger. The Art of ‘Black Is King’: Beyoncé’s New Visual Album Involves Today’s Best Artists and Curators. ARTnews. August 3, 2020.
artnetnews. Art Industry News: A Guide to the Many Art-Historical References in Beyoncé’s New Album ‘Black Is King’ + Other Stories. August 3, 2020.
Maleke Glee. Here are the Black Artists in Beyonce’s Black is King. Sugarcane Magazine. August 1, 2020.

Derrick Adams on Tour, Retna at the Opera

Derrick Adams is one of just three contemporary artists whose work is part of a national tour. Adams’ work is accompanying legendary artist Jacob Lawrence’s Struggle Series to major museums throughout the U.S.

Jacob Lawrence was one of America’s finest artists, the first black artist to have work purchased by the Museum of Modern Art, in 1941, when Lawrence was just 23 years old.

Lawrence spent five years at the 135th Street Library, in Harlem, where he grew up, researching the history of America from 1770 through 1812. His research inspired him to painted Struggle: From the History of the American People, thirty paintings that were dispersed after being shown in a New York gallery in 1956.

Jacob Lawrence died in 2000. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1990. His works are in the permanent collections of major museums and galleries throughout the United States. He taught at the Pratt Institute in New York and at Washington State University, inspiring the next generation of artists, like Derrick Adams.

Derrick Adams lives and works in Brooklyn. He works are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Birmingham Museum of Art.

The Struggle Series, along with work by Derrick Adams, is currently at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, will then go on to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama, the Seattle Art Museum and the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.


Marquis Lewis was born in Los Angeles in 1979. He is best known as Retna, the tag he used on the graffiti that he painted throughout the city. Retna’s sophisticated calligraphy, an alphabet the he developed from Egyptian hieroglyphics, Hebrew, Arabic and Gothic script, has earned him a global following.

His work is currently being used this season by the Los Angeles Opera Company. Retna created set designs for director Francesca Zambello’s interpretation of Aida. His set designs have also been used by the San Francisco, Seattle and Washington National Opera companies.

Work by Derrick Adams and Retna available at VFA

Breakfast of Champions by Derrick Adams and Sacred Dance of Memories by Retna are available at VFA. Both are masterfully created fine art prints and represent just two of the fine contemporary art work for sale in our gallery.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Derrick Adams, Retna or any of the other fine artists, whose works are available at VFA.

Keith Powers. Peabody Essex Museum displays work of artist Jacob Lawrence. Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle. January 23, 2020.
Nancy Kenney. Jacob Lawrence’s epic series depicting America’s early struggles sets off on US tour. The Art Newspaper. January 17, 2020.
Natalie Gale. PEM Reunites Jacob Lawrence Painting Series. Northshore Magazine. January 17, 2020.
Sebastian Smee. These ‘missing’ Jacob Lawrence paintings are finally in a museum — and they’re masterpieces. The Washington Post. January 24, 2020.
Jessica Gelt. L.A. Opera 2020-21 season: Wagner, Herheim, ‘Breaking the Waves’ and ‘Get Out. Los Angeles Times. January 26, 2020.
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