Rodney McMillian. Landscape in Red

2 Sep 2023 – 21 Oct 2023

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00

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Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce Los Angeles-based artist Rodney McMillian’s solo exhibition Landscape in Red. The exhibition presents McMillian’s newest landscape paintings—a body of work the artist has explored for over two decades. The exhibition is on view from September 2 through October 21, 2023.

Landscape in Red is McMillian’s first exhibition in Los Angeles comprised solely of painting. Throughout his wide-ranging practice, McMillian has formally anchored his work through the use of color by navigating between conceptual and formal explorations of black, white, and red. These three colors have a fundamental and long-standing importance in his work. 

Highlighting the color red and the multiple complex associations it evokes, these new paintings reference natural phenomena, the body (blood, viscera), and the political and social urgencies of the last few years. Several of the artist’s new works suggest the anguish of this transformation of the natural and social landscapes through the use of torrents of red paint leaching onto domestic bedding—calling out the existential crises affecting all of us every day, in our homes, beds, and couches where we reside as we watch the world ignite. 

In the landscape paintings, the bedding also becomes a conceptual placeholder for absent bodies. As such, McMillian reviews the history of landscape painting and suggests a direct relationship between the landscape and the body—a relationship ripe with historical and political dimensions of brutality.

Throughout the artist’s career the color red has featured prominently in installations such as the 2008 solo presentation and performance Untitled (a church) at Artpace, San Antonio, and the Kitchen, New York; and in his major sculpture From Asterisks in Dockery (2012) included in Blues for Smoke, at MOCA Los Angeles in 2012 and in the traveling exhibition The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse first presented at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in 2021 and later at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Texas, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, Colorado. 

Rodney McMillian (b. 1969) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. He received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2002. McMillian was included in the 2022 Whitney Biennale, Quiet as It’s Kept, curated by David Breslin and Adrienne Edwards; the 2021 Prospect.5 New Orleans: Yesterday You Said Tomorrow, curated by Naima Keith and Diana Nawi; and he was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennale. In 2020, the artist had a solo exhibition, Historically Hostile at the Blaffer Museum in Houston, Texas. In 2019, McMillian had solo exhibitions at the Underground Museum in Los Angeles, Brown: Videos from The Black Show and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, New Work: Rodney McMillian. 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 in 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. The MoMA PS.1 exhibition, Landscape Paintings originated at the Aspen Art Museum, Colorado in 2015 and was curated by Heidi Zuckerman. 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. His work is included in the collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Stadtisches Museum Abteiberg, Monchengladbach, Germany; and The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York.

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Rodney McMillian


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