Artists on Coping: Yura Adams

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping.

Work in Progress Studio Installation_2020_ink, acrylic, paper, plaster_dimensions variable, foreground column: 96″ high

Yura Adams is best known for her abstract and energetic paintings that interpret ideas found in physics, injected with messages of cultural and poetic experience. Adams has been exhibited with the New Museum in New York, Experimental Intermedia, Franklin Furnace, New Music America, Real Art Ways, and one person shows at the John Davis Gallery in Hudson, New York. Most recently, Adams received a Pollock-Krasner grant and exhibited at the Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, New York, Collarworks, Troy, New York and produced at Dieu Donné, a large-scale, hand-made paper installation for her one-person show at the Courthouse Gallery in Lake George, New York.

AS: How are you coping?

YA: Humor first, no pity parties allowed. Moving is second: in thought and body. Dance with weights, twenty laps around the driveway, wiggle, jump, move it, move all the parts. Third; people via electronics. Talk talk talk, read read read, share share share, facetime, zoom, text, emails. Fourth look silly, wear the stained sweater, no one is there. Fifth, think about what is next to eat.

Chill Margins, 2020, ink, acrylic, Tyvek, 84 x 60 inches

AS: Has your routine changed?

YA: Time has lost dimensions, with unpredictable stretches and shrinks despite clocks and calendars. Many hours spent staying informed, connecting, cleaning. These activities have replaced stopping by, running errands, swimming at the gym. Days pass with my partner; he is my good company as we analyze the smallest of events of our days. What has not changed: studio time. l protect my hours there, walking down the farm road to the door; refreshed to enter my woman cave where time is my own and I experience great freedom.

Space Walk, 2020, ink, acrylic, Tyvek, 84 x 60 inches

AS: Can you describe some of your feelings about all this?

YA: Most days, I feel ok until the evening when I seem to lose my anchor. If I am not careful, I can go down rabbit holes about the members of my family that have the virus. (looking good, mild cases so far!) I struggle to stay present, have a glass of wine, eat a chocolate, go to bed and tell myself to not wake up in the night.

Questo, 2020, ink and acrylic on canvas, acrylic paint on wall, 91 x 70 inches

AS: What matters most right now?

YA: As a mother, I cannot help but put my children first. Their survival will always top my list. After that, what matters the most are the same concerns that my neighbor holds. Look at the toilet paper crisis!

Plasma Pour, 2020, ink and acrylic on foam, paper and canvas, 24 x 28 x 10 inches

AS: Any thoughts about the road ahead?

YA: This pandemic has made electronics the predominant way to connect and I predict this will become embedded in the art culture. For example, I saw a great video this morning on Instagram of a gallerist analyzing an art piece. I thought; this is effective promotion. I love that our age gives us both physical and virtual experiences but admit I am nostalgic for the old normal. I’d like to complain again about too many openings to attend.

Mockup: Fast Earth in Geologic Time, 2019-2020, ink, acrylic, Tyvek, 84 x 372 inches
Melissa Stern is an artist and journalist living in NYC. She has written for Hyperallergic, The New York Press, CityArts and The Weeklings. Her work has been shown all over the US and can be seen here at here websites- and