Negative into Positive: Antonio Adams 

Three stars
Big Car Gallery

An outsider artist from Cincinnati, Antonio Adams’ paintings and cat-like constructions seek to redeem, perhaps immortalize, people who have died in untimely fashion as a result of negative events such as violence or disease. Some subjects are famous, such as Emmitt Till and Jon Benet Ramsey, part of a decade-based series of flat, fluorescent-colored painted portraits. Other paintings are more narrative and include subjects known personally to the artist. Aesthetically, Adams’ strongest pieces incorporate broad areas of flat colors overlaid with patterning and strong linear drawings: “The Positive Energy Field of Pylon Stations,” “Three Pylon People” and the series “Turn the Negative into the Positive.” Multiple speech bubbles in other compositions are distracting. Works ponder immortality and the afterlife (explored in the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s new ancient Egyptian exhibition), but Adams also proposes that the life stream may flow backwards in time, at least within his art. The painting “Be Heal, Back to Raymond’s Life in the Hours Ago” moves in timeline fashion to reveal Raymond’s haloed spirit, then a skeletal corpse, a zombie and, finally, Raymond in human form, clad in a clown suit, light-mounted helmet and briefcase. What happened to Raymond in real life is unclear. Within Adams’ canvas, however, Raymond rests in a place of both humor and tenderness. Through July 26; 317-450-6630,

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