looking at the overlooked:
Jamal Cyrus, Nathaniel Donnett, Rodney McMillian
September 9 – December 10, 2017
Bringing together the work of Houston-based artists Jamal Cyrus and Nathaniel Donnett with Los Angeles-based artist Rodney McMillian, looking at the overlooked features the work of three individual artists who share similar, yet distinct, approaches to art making. Utilizing common and everyday materials, they construct works that move between the genres of painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, and performance. Employing appropriation as a strategy of production, they incorporate prefabricated objects and imagery into their art, repositioning them in ways that expand our perceptions of history, representation, class, violence, resistance, and cultural practice.
The works in this exhibition embody a particular ethos that celebrates the vernaculars of that which is frequently overlooked. Referencing text and other forms of printed matter, music, and both historical and current events, the artists enact gestures of reclamation, articulating the narratives of the disempowered and disregarded through the use of materials which are usually held to be mundane. Yet within the context of Cyrus’, Donnett’s and McMillian’s respective practices, the content and subtext of their works take us through processes of inversion and transformation wherein what is prefaced as inconsequential becomes monumental.
looking at the overlooked is made possible by generous support from the Gridley Family Foundation,
Norma Greever, Ron and Lee Starkel, Keith and Georgia Stevens, the City of Wichita and Wichita State University.
Funding for programs is provided by the Kansas Humanities Council, a nonprofit cultural organization that connects communities with history, traditions, and ideas to strengthen civic life.
Image: 1. Rodney McMillian, Untitled (flag IV), detail, 2012. Burlap, thread, plaster, and latex, 80 x 169 in. Courtesy of the artist, Maccarone Gallery, New York, and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer
2. Jamal Cyrus, Beneath The Obelisk, detail, 2016. Wax and ink on canvas, mounted on dyed canvas, 54 x 36 in. Courtesy
of the artist and Inman Gallery.
3. Nathaniel Donnett, Ritual, detail, 2014. Mixed media, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.