Los Angeles–based artist Rodney McMillian’s work addresses how American political and social histories shape issues of class, race, and gender. In his first solo museum presentation on the West Coast, McMillian brings together his long-standing interest in the representation of the American landscape with an exploration of home as a place and a state of mind.
The exhibition features a painted abstract panorama spanning the entirety of the gallery, paired with a soundscape interweaving iconic 1980s songs performed by McMillian and the voice of a social advocate proposing radically new language and policies around the condition of homelessness. This immersive installation questions the political systems that promise freedom and equality for all, and highlights the power of the individual to affect hope and create change.
South Carolina–born, Los Angeles–based artist Rodney McMillian discusses the making of his immersive installation In This Land, created for SFMOMA’s New Work gallery. Instead of portraying the American landscape as a pleasant or neutral tableau, he invites the viewer to consider the unseen histories in our shared land—and what a “home” really is.
Generous support for New Work: Rodney McMillian is provided by Alka and Ravin Agrawal, SFMOMA’s Contemporaries, The Fund for Contemporary Art, Adriane Iann and Christian Stolz, and Robin Wright and Ian Reeves.
Header image: Rodney McMillian, In This Land, 2019 (detail of work in progress); courtesy the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects; © Rodney McMillian; photo: Robert Wedemeyer