Sikkema Jenkins & Co
530 W 22nd Street
New York, NY 10011
Opening Reception: Friday April 28th, 6 – 8pm
Sikkema Jenkins & Co. is pleased to announce the inaugural exhibition of Wardell Milan, entitled Bluets & 2 Years of Magical Thinking. This exhibition presents recent small and large-scale drawings, along with sculptural works and a suite of etchings from Milan’s printmaking project, The Balcony. Bluets & 2 Years of Magical Thinking will be on view April 28 through June 3.
Bluets & 2 Years of Magical Thinking sees Milan continuing to engage questions of bodily subjectivity and the ever-necessary negotiation of selfhood within oppressive systems. He describes the show’s thematic concerns as both universal and specific, drawing from personal experiences and introspection to expand on larger concepts and references to current events. The reclamation of sexual autonomy, freedom of gender expression, and racial solidarity against white supremacy and anti-Blackness are fundamental to the existence of Milan’s subjects, played out in scenes of physical and psychological confrontation. In each of his “training” collages, a group of figures are shown sparring against a photographic background—men, on the shores of a monochrome ocean, and women, amongst verdant foliage. Their collaged limbs collide and overlap one another, utilizing the refuge of their respective pictorial realms to train against impending threats.
Wardell Milan (b. 1977, Knoxville, TN) received his BFA in photography from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (2001) and his MFA in Photography from Yale University (2004). His work is currently on view in the solo exhibition, Wardell Milan: Recent Work at the Benton Museum of Art, Pomona College, Claremont, CA (2022-23). His first major solo museum show, America. God Bless You If It’s Good To You, was presented at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in 2021. Milan’s work is included in the public collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL; Denver Art Museum, CO; Brooklyn Museum, NY; Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, NY; The Morgan Library & Museum, NY; The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Daniel and Florence Guerlain Contemporary Art Foundation, Paris; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA. Milan lives and works in New York.