Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to present the first West Coast exhibition of New York-based artist Wardell Milan, on view from January 3 to February 16, 2019. A reception for the artist will be held from 1-4pm on Saturday, January 5.
Incorporating drawing, painting, photography and collage, Milan’s Parisian Landscapes: Blue in Green introduces the artist’s figurative works in a variety of media. Milan’s blue also alludes to the historical use of lapis lazuli: from Egyptian tomb paintings to illuminated Renaissance manuscripts, as well as to the Taliban’s current control of lapis lazuli mines in Afghanistan. Other intensely hued works inspired by the 17th-century Dutch tulip craze reflect Milan’s long-running obsession with the flower’s form and layered symbolism.
Milan’s collages often incorporate cut-out photographs from works by Diane Arbus and Robert Mapplethorpe, as well as Charles Hoff’s images of boxers in The Fights. He has been inspired by such varied sources and artists as Francis Bacon, Robert Gober, the films of Federico Fellini, bodybuilding magazines, the plays of Eugène Ionesco, and E.J. Bellocq’s photographs of the Storyville district of New Orleans.