Please note: ICA will be closed for the holidays through November 24, and will reopen to the public at 12PM on Friday, November 25.
Feb 3–Aug 14, 2016

Rodney McMillian: The Black Show

Rodney McMillian, A Migration Tale, 2015 (filmed 2014), single channel video. Courtesy the artist and Maccarone, New York.

Rodney McMillianRodney McMillian 2Rodney McMillian Preacher Man

Rodney McMillian’s (born 1969 Columbia, SC; lives Los Angeles) broad artistic range forms an extended physical meditation on the United States. These sculptures, paintings, room-sized constructions, videos, and performances embody our social fabric in patterns cut by class, economic status, culture, race, gender, and history.

Deeply attuned to the social systems and policy decisions that economically and psychologically shape our bodies, McMillian engages the gestures of these forces directly: going large in scale through small actions, using post-consumer objects to reveal latent ideologies, exposing the violent strata by which a vulnerable citizenship is built. Added to this melting pot, here McMillian draws upon a fascination with science fiction to envision a place where fantastical physical transformation might express the unraveling of social injustices.

In conjunction with the exhibition, an off-site performance with the working title Legislating Ignorance, will offer a return to the directness of the body and language as McMillian engages with history as material to be reformed, recontextualized, and remembered.

Organized by Chief Curator Anthony Elms. The exhibition is presented concurrently with the major solo exhibition Rodney McMillian: Views of Mainstreet (March 24–June 26, 2016) by Naima Keith, Associate Curator, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and the exhibition Rodney McMillian: Landscape Paintings at MoMA PS1 (April 3–August 29, 2016) by Heidi Zuckerman, Nancy and Bob Magoon CEO and Director, Aspen Art Museum. The exhibition is organized at MoMA PS1 by Peter Eleey, Curator and Associate Director of Exhibitions and Programs. A fully illustrated joint catalogue with ICA and The Studio Museum of Harlem will be published in Spring 2016. A catalogue is currently available for Rodney McMillian: Landscape Paintings.

Major support for Rodney McMillian: The Black Show has been provided by The William Penn Foundation. Additional funding has been provided by Dorothy H. & Martin N. Bandier, Maccarone, New York, Norma & Lawrence S. Reichlin, Lori W. & John R. Reinsberg, Stephanie K. & David E. Simon, Brett A. & Daniel S. Sundheim, and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects.

Featured Works

Installation Views

Sun, Apr 17, 2016, 2PM
Coffee & Conversation: Cosmos in Flux
Books & Editions
Rodney McMillian book cover

For more than a decade, Los Angeles–based artist Rodney McMillian (born 1969) has worked in sculpture, painting, video and performance to explore the intersections of race, class, gender and socioeconomic policy.
Copublished by the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania and The Studio Museum in Harlem on the occasion of Rodney McMillian: The Black Show and Rodney McMillian: Views of Main Street, this volume offers an in-depth examination of McMillian’s varied practice and his meditations on social systems, art history, science fiction and public policy.
In addition to contributions by Elms and Keith, McMillian’s radical use of postconsumer objects, video and painting is addressed in essays by leading figures including Charles Gaines, Rita Gonzalez, Dave McKenzie and Steven Nelson.

8.25" x 11" x 1"
Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and The Studio Museum in Harlem
ISBN 9780942949438
Publication Date
Charles Gaines, Rita Gonzalez, Naima J. Keith, Dave McKenzie, Steven Nelson
Kimberly Varella, Content Object Design Studio
Charles Gaines, Rita Gonzalez, Naima J. Keith, Dave McKenzie, Steven Nelson
Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and The Studio Museum in Harlem