Rodney McMillian created this provocative landscape painting by applying latex paint to a crocheted blanket that he bought from a thrift store. Tendrils of poured paint streak across the upper half of the horizontally striped fabric, complementing as well as disrupting the geometric pattern of the handcrafted afghan. Pooling and seeping into the textured support, the fluid paint approximates the clouds referred to in the work’s subtitle while also suggesting evidence of violence. Blankets such as the one used here are often made as gifts to share with family and friends and are typically equated with warmth, comfort, and security. Through his painterly alterations of this found blanket, McMillian critically engages both the domestic realm and the legacy of nineteenth-century American landscape painting, which was often employed to celebrate white settler colonialism founded on the exploitation of land and bodies. The work is part of the artist’s ongoing exploration of the concept of “home” as a site of psychological comfort and a place where beliefs and biases, including about class, race, and identity, are shaped and indoctrinated. [Permanent Collection Label, 2021]
(American, b. 1969)
- Title Untitled (clouds)
- Date 2019
- Medium Latex on blanket
unframed | 61 x 98 in.
- Credit line University purchase, Bixby Fund, 2020
- Object number WU 2020.0004
Petzel (New York, New York), 02/27/2020 - 07/31/2020
Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York
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