Views of 'Terry Adkins Recital,' an installation organized by the Tang Museum at Skidmore College in collaboration with the artist.

For more than 30 years artist and musician Terry Adkins has paid tribute to unheralded and under-appreciated individuals through installation-based experiences called “recitals.”

“Terry Adkins Recital,” at Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Jan. 11 to Mar. 24, brings together a selection of sculpture, photography and video works by the artist. Mr.  Adkins will draw from past recitals for a special live performance on Mar. 1.

Mr. Adkins has described his approach to making art as similar to that of a composer writing music. He says he transforms and re-purposes a range of reclaimed materials and imagery in a process he calls “potential disclosure,” which aims to reveal the dormant life in inanimate objects, historical facts and figures of thought.

Under the auspices of the Lone Wolf Recital Corps, Mr. Adkins stages loosely structured “happenings” with fellow corps members that feature combinations of sculpture, music, video, spoken word, costumes and sound.

Mr. Adkins says he intends to restore honorees to their rightful place in the annals of history and to illuminate lesser-known aspects of their biographies. Some examples are Jimi Hendrix’s military service as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne, Martin Luther King Jr.’s opposition to the Vietnam War, or the question about Ludwig van Beethoven’s Moorish ancestry.

On Jan. 12 at 3 p.m., Mr. Adkins will take part in a conversation at the Block Museum about his work with artists Theaster Gates and Dawoud Bey, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago curator Naomi Beckwith, Renaissance Society associate curator Hamza Walker; Huey Copeland, associate professor of art history at Northwestern; and Ian Berry, Dayton Director of the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College. The conversation is preceded by an opening reception at 2 p.m. The program is free and open to the public.

On Mar. 1, at 7 p.m. Mr. Adkins will present “Facets,” a performance with the Lone Wolf Recital Corps featuring Clifford Owens, Kamau Patton, Tameka Norris, Blanche Bruce, and members of the Northwestern and surrounding communities. The performance will take place at Regenstein Hall of Music, 60 Arts Circle Drive. The event is free and open to the public.

A video of Mr. Adkins discussing his work is available at The artist, whose work has been exhibited extensively in solo and group settings internationally, is a professor of fine arts at the University of Pennsylvania. “Recital” is organized by Ian Berry, Dayton Director at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, in collaboration with the artist.

Admission to the Block Museum is free. The galleries are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tue., Sat. and Sun. and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wed., Thur. and Fri. More information is available at or 847-491-4000.