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Frieze Examines Intimacy in Rodney McMillian’s “The Black Show”

Rodney Install

“Rodney McMillian: The Black Show, 2016, installation view, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania. Photo: Constance Mensh.”

In Frieze, Evan Moffitt takes a look at the presence of intimacy across Rodney McMillian’s three simultaneous solo shows, including “The Black Show”:

“In three concurrent museum shows that feature more than a decade’s worth of painting, textile, sculpture and video work, Rodney McMillian examines what happens between the sheets; in that intimate space where the sexual, potentially violent co-mingling of bodies reveals the deeper parts of the human psyche and our broader social fabric. […] An iconic textile piece opens ‘The Black Show’ at ICA Philadelphia: the glistening black vinyl surface of Untitled (target) (2012), visibly stitched with white string, greets viewers with its gaping maw not unlike a Lee Bontecou sculpture. A star of flayed fabric radiates from this orifice like flesh flapping at a wound. Black vinyl’s appeal is multivalent: it is cheap yet glossy, both nightclub décor and sexual fetish wear. McMillian provokes with abstraction, using bodily materials to evoke the violent and erotic charge of our own skins.”

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