Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Rodney McMillian



Rodney McMillian
ICA Philadelphia, through August 14, 2016.

Blues for Smoke.







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.

RodneyMcMillianLandscapePaintings2015Landscape Painting, 2015.

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.


Supreme Court, 2000.

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.


Untitled (Tongue), 2014.

Organized by Chief Curator Anthony Elms. The exhibition is presented concurrently with a major solo exhibition of Rodney McMillian, organized by Naima Keith, Associate Curator, at the Studio Museum in Harlem. A fully illustrated joint catalogue of the exhibition will be published in Spring 2016.(text ICP)