Rodney McMillian: Recirculating Goods at Petzel, New York
Thu 27 Feb 2020 to Fri 31 Jul 2020
Images courtesy of Petzel
“I’m excited to join Petzel,” says McMillian, who is coming on board the gallery’s roster this winter. “I’ve followed the program for many years and I’m looking forward to being a part of the conversations emerging from there.”
For his debut at Petzel, McMillian will show paintings that further an ongoing conversation about class and ideals that have informed American landscape painting. These works are made primarily on blankets, sometimes with clear representations of a landscape. The objects, in some ways, point to shared spaces in that the afghans or crocheted objects were handmade and can be found in dens, kitchens or bedrooms. They are often personal items that are passed down between generations or given as gifts. However, in this case, some of the objects were purchased from non-profit retail stores. These paintings reflect on the different systems of exchange they exist in, and their relation to the histories—personal, national, and art historical—which are evoked.
The show also serves as the unveiling of Petzel’s second-floor addition to the uptown gallery. Now occupying both the parlor and third floors of the 35 East 67th Street townhouse, the parlor floor will provide an opportunity to enhance the gallery’s program with exhibitions catered to the nature of space, while the third floor (which the gallery opened in 2015) will serve mainly as a private viewing room for special exhibitions and secondary market works going forward.
Rodney McMillian lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. McMillian explores the complex and fraught connections between history and contemporary culture, not only as they are expressed in American politics, but also as they are manifest in American modernist art traditions. Aspects of his work negotiates between the body of a political nature and the politic of a bodily nature.
McMillian received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2002. His installation In This Land, 2019 was on view as part of the New Work series at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art from February 9–June 9, 2019. He has a solo exhibition on view at the Underground Museum in Los Angeles, CA through February 16, 2020. He received the Contemporary Austin’s first Suzanne Deal Booth Art Prize in 2016, and the resulting solo exhibition Against a Civic Death was on view through August 26, 2018. In 2016, McMillian had solo exhibitions at the ICA Philadelphia, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and MoMA PS.1. Each of these exhibitions highlighted a particular set of material and conceptual concerns in McMillian’s multivalent practice. Other recent solo exhibitions include Landscape Paintings, Aspen Art Museum, CO (2015); Sentimental Disappointment, Momentum 14: Rodney McMillian, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA (2009); The Kitchen, New York (2008). McMillian’s work was featured in the 2015 Sharjah Biennial, curated by Eungie Joo. His work has also been included in group exhibitions at The National Portrait Gallery, London, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA; the CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco, CA; the Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, Norway; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; the Contemporary Art Museum Houston; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art among many others.
Courtesy of the artist and Petzel, New York