Tag Archives: di Rosa Museum of Contemporary Art

di Rosa Museum of Contemporary Art | ADIA MILLETT | A Force of Nature

16 Jun

JULY 23 – OCTOBER 30, 2022

adia millett: a force of nature | opening july 23

“the land at di rosa… changing like the direction of the seasonal smoke, reveals to us that with death comes new life.” -adia millett

Adia Millett: A Force of Nature presents new paintings, textiles and sculptural installations by the Oakland-based artist, created in response to di Rosa’s distinctive landscape. “The land at di Rosa,” Millett writes, “lush with soaring vultures, cracks in the decomposing earth, traces of snakeskin, and endless layers of shadows, arouse our creative minds to remember where we come from. The multitude of colors, changing like the direction of the seasonal smoke, reveals to us that with death comes new life.”

Ranging across diverse media, Millett’s practice is rooted in “taking things apart, removing, replacing, cutting, pasting, sewing and building.” Evoking “the mended shapes of an old quilt, or polygonal segments of a cathedral window,” the works suggest “the importance of renewal and rebuilding, not only through the artistic process, but also through the possibility of transformative change.” Human beings, like earthquakes, forest fires or floods, are also forces of nature.

Millett earned her BFA from UC Berkeley followed by an MFA from CalArts. Her work has been exhibited at institutions including the Studio Museum in Harlem; the Craft and Folk Museum in Los Angeles; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta; the Santa Monica Museum of Art; and the Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans.

related programs

July 23: opening reception

October 29: Artist talk

Adia Millett, Snake in the Fire, 2022.
“The countless creatures I witnessed living on the land, including a baby rattler, became mirrors. We are able to see ourselves in other living beings. As they navigate the land, so do we. I imagine the young snake using its senses to transition from the challenges of one season to another. Here the triangle-shaped painting, not only integrated the shades of red to symbolize fire, but blue, green, yellow, and gold, for the water, air, and earth. Like the snake, we move, shed, and thrive.”
a blue and white dress on a wood floor
Quilted Ancestor: Earth (unfinished)
The three Quilted Ancestors titled Sun, Moon, and Earth were created to bring the fabric to life. As a viewer, we can begin to imagine a ghost, spirit, or loved one beneath the shrouds. In turn, the titles suggest that we can then image our planet or the moon as an entity, or family member. The quilts are covered with pieces of fabric that reveal the layers and complexity of who we are.
a pair of blue and white underwear
The Collective ( 1 of 10)
The Collective is a series of ten abstract forms, slightly resembling the shape of a figure or mummy. These forms are designed to float amongst the wall, each one unique and still connected to the others. Millett does not see these as body forms, but rather an energetic trace within the body. Like all the work in this exhibition, they are emblematic of transition, elevation, and the many dimensions of who we are.
a colorful rug with a design
Grandmother is perhaps the most personal piece in this exhibition. It starts with a piece of an unfinished quilt top from Millett’s grandmother. Adia adds hand-stitching in and around it and moves outward creating a mandala of feathers, most of which were collected from the land at Di Rosa. Earth tones surround what Adia calls a “medicine wheel”. Being the great-grandchild of Indigenous and African American slave foremothers, Adia uses her art to pay homage to the woman who came before her. The vast elements of the earthwork as a connection point to her matriarchal lineage.

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Available Artwork by ADIA MILLETT