Adam Milner was born in 1988 in Denver, Colorado, and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. The artist received a BFA from the University of Colorado and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. Working across sculpture and installation, Milner investigates and recontextualizes the objects of the home, the hoard, the museum, and the body, questioning the boundaries and hierarchies that rule these domains.
Fascinated by our complicated relationships to objects, Milner’s practice involves collecting, arranging, and combining various mementos and detritus from domestic life. The resulting sculptures and installations can include everything from flower petals to the artist’s eyelashes, vials of blood, hair, conch shells, deer figurines, or the wax coating on Babybel cheese. “I make sculptures in which bodies are always shifting and merging with each other,” says the artist. “In my work, almost everything is a fragment of something else.” Wary of tidying philosophies, Milner reconsiders our inclination toward accumulation, creating works that are both intimate reflections of the artist’s private life and excavations of how cultural value is assigned and upheld through objects. Milner has staged interventions in institutions such as the Warhol Museum and the Mattress Factory, combining archival material and the artist’s own artifacts to examine the aesthetics of museum displays, retail spaces, and home decor and to highlight the contrasting acts of care, control, exchange, and labor within art institutions. At the Clyfford Still Museum, Milner staged performances in the galleries—shadowing the security guards, considering the paintings in darkness, and spraying vintage perfumes believed to have been worn by Still’s wife, Patricia—in order to examine issues of identity, gender, legacy, and desire.
“I’m really interested in this idea of vibrant matter or this idea that everything is active—and how when we’re done with something, it still exists in the world.”