Shantell Martin: Underlined

In the project room: Adam Milner: If digging something up makes it true, what does burying do?

David B. Smith Gallery

September 27 - November 2, 2019

  • Opening Reception: Friday, September 27th, from 6 - 8pm
Shantell Martin, KINDNESS, 2019, ink on paper, 24.25 x 18.13 in. (61.5 x 46 cm)

David B. Smith Gallery is proud to present Underlined, a solo exhibition by New York-based artist Shantell Martin. Born in London, Martin’s reputation as a visual artist, designer, and cultural influencer is recognized around the globe. A textbook mover and shaker, Martin transcends media, bringing energy and authenticity to her iconic black and white drawings.

Opening in tandem with her solo exhibition at the Denver Art Museum, in Underlined, Martin will feature 6 new works on canvas and 12 works on paper, along with objects and custom furniture throughout the main gallery. Via curving continuous lines punctuated with faces, figures, and words, Martin offers insight into her subconscious. Created primarily in an automatic drawing style, without any sketches or compositional studies done beforehand, each piece resonates with an unmistakable quality of flow that has become her trademark.

Playful, insightful, and imbued with both personal and universal meaning, Shantell Martin’s natural skill and casual elegance are boldly featured in Underlined.
Adam Milner, 2019, glazed stoneware and 3D printed steel, 11 x 8.5 x 1 in. (27.94 x 21.59 x 2.54 cm)

Returning for his third solo exhibition with David B. Smith Gallery, Denver-born, Brooklyn-based artist Adam Milner continues his dialog with the various ways we keep and let go of the things around us. Milner’s deeply personal practice attempts to reconcile the things in his life through gestures of clinging, containing, combining, and releasing.

If digging something up makes it true, what does burying do? features a series of ceramic wall sculptures which incorporate personal mementos and artifacts. Drawing upon display systems of the home, museum, and store, Milner carefully brings items into dialogue with each other and gives attention to their support structures. The locks of hair of strangers, given to the artist during previous exhibitions, hang from ceramic hooks. 3D-printed steel wishbone fragments carefully rest on tiny shelves. A full moon, sculpted from life and cast in plaster, takes over one assemblage.

Scaled to American letter sized paper (8.5 x 11 inches), Milner’s works speak to the familiarity of standard formatting and its automatic intelligibility. The ceramic tablets position themselves as documents, whether they be love letters or contracts, and create a new system of value through collected fragments. In his ongoing investigation into the poetics of archiving and arranging, potentially overlooked items are thoughtfully reappraised and granted new dignity.

David B. Smith Gallery
1543 A Wazee Street
Denver, CO, 80202


About Shantell Martin

Shantell Martin was born in London and attended Central St. Martin’s University. She is a former Adjunct Professor and Artist in Residence at NYU’s ITP (Tisch School of the Arts), and a former fellow at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Columbia University. She has exhibited work in the Brooklyn Museum (Brooklyn, NY), Museum of the Contemporary African Diaspora (Brooklyn, NY), Bata Show Museum (Toronto, Canada), Albright Knox (Buffalo, NY), MoCADA Museum (Brooklyn, NY), and a number of private galleries. She has collaborated with international brands including Nike, Vitra, Max Mara, Tiffany & Co., and Puma, as well as musician Kendrick Lamar.

About Adam Milner

Adam Milner draws upon personal exchanges with people, things and institutions, to examine systems of intimacy, value and power. Approaching materials and spaces that are often off limits, his works reveal boundaries and involve a process of negotiation and exchange; he has performed aboard a cruise ship hosted by the app Grindr, collaborated with material engineers at NASA to use rare lunar regolith simulant, intervened in the archives of Andy Warhol, and routinely drawn his boyfriend’s blood.

He has exhibited at The Warhol, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Aspen Art Museum, Casa Maauad, Galería Mascota, Flux Factory, Florian Christopher Zurich, and David B. Smith Gallery. Milner received an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University (2017), is a recent participant of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2018), and is currently a fellow with Black Cube Nomadic Museum. Milner lives and works in Brooklyn. About David B. Smith Gallery

David B. Smith Gallery is committed to presenting intelligent and culturally relevant exhibitions in its Denver location, featuring the region’s most important emerging talent alongside internationally recognized artists. Through its curatorial program, participation in art fairs, and extensive media coverage in publications such as Art in America and ARTnews, David B. Smith Gallery has cultivated a strong regional, national, and international collector audience. The New York Times hailed the gallery as offering "an exciting contrast of cutting edge works” and The Denver Post declared that it is the “premiere commercial space” in Denver. The gallery also maintains an active publishing division, which produces exhibition catalogues and editions.