Americas

Rodney McMillian
There are veins in these lands, I

In his evocative Landscape Paintings, McMillian uses second-hand bedsheets, sourced from thrift shops, as his starting point. Calling up the unknown intimacies of these objects, McMillian upends their usual orientation, placing them directly on the wall to serve as paintings, rather than covers. Layering over the repurposed textiles with hardware store paint, McMillian transforms the sheets into canvases, creating abstract landscapes on top of the traces of human bodies intact in the fabric. His vibrant red composition from 2013 slips and drips from its edges onto the floor, with figure and ground evoking different scales of representation—the zoomed out, depopulated landscape created by the paint, and the human-scaled intimacy of the bedsheets.

Rodney McMillian works in many modes, creating sculptures, paintings, videos, performances, and installations that speak to the lived experiences of individuals and communities in the United States. Interested in the points at which larger systems and histories cross over into the personal, McMillian’s work seeks to address issues of race, gender, power, and class.