“Taking good care of your things leads to taking good care of yourself” 2019

Adam Milner
Factory Installed: September 27, 2019 – March 13, 2020
mixed media

Milner's installations articulate and confuse spaces of the museum, home, body, archive, and hoarder.


Milner’s installations articulate and confuse spaces of the museum, home, body, archive, and hoarder. Milner, who is suspicious of tidying philosophies and how systems of organization exist in hierarchies, has created a practice which attempts to deal with the things around him through conflicting gestures of collecting, combining, containing, and releasing.

The exhibition gleans its title from an Instagram post by Marie Kondo, whose books and Netflix show about tidying up have made her a household name. The quote, and Kondo’s empire in general, is a reminder of our complicated relationships to the things around us, and how we cling to things – but also, how they sometimes cling back. Milner’s sprawling and idiosyncratic practice draws upon aesthetics of museum and retail display, domestic interiors, and TV shows like Hoarders and Kondo’s Tidying Up. These new sculptures employ various strategies of containment, and point to the paradox that efforts to contain something can embody dueling philosophies of care and control, love and domination.

Take Care Relief, 2019
felt, polystrene

Only Things (Hoarders S1:E1), 2015

The Problem with Family, 2019
items borrowed from Barbara Luderowski and Michael Ollijnyk: 19th century display case (nickel, glass wood); Victorian wax wedding hands; bird’s nest; magic wand; carved wood figures with graphite by Barbara Luderowski (c. 1979); miniature wooden replica of the bed Barbara was conceived in, by her father Paul Simpson (c. 1963); cast beeswax ex-voto by Ann Hamilton (1991); mushroom (John Cage reincarnated, maybe, long story); sterling silver plaque by Jenny Holzer (gifted 2011); plastic harpy by Kiki Smith (2002); ); glass box with human and cat teeth (Michael’s, Goodzik’s, and Pahn’s); ); Mexican folk figurine (plaster, wire, paint); carved ivory or bone hands; ceramic spirits container (c. 1900); ceramic Frozen Charlotte dolls with string; Fornasetti plate; Japanese paper house with glitter; glass and plastic eyes with supports; glass lenses; carved wooden folk figurine; ; the necklace of “Mo Balls” Barbara had planned on making so I made it (felted cat hair and thread); Japanese miniature chairs (wood and fabric); bat; hummingbird

In order to participate in a history of scars on this building, 2019
Fred’s blood in vial in floorboard, Eternity® Rose in floorboard

My Mountain, 2019
bronze, fingernails, glass, stoneware, porcelain, earthenware, glazes, pink marble, stones, quartz, porcelain tooth, disco ball fragment, plastic gemstone, Swarovski crystal, wasp, agate, mole hand, 3D printed bronze cherry stem, plastic glasses, sticker, flower charms, beetle shell, pyrite, glass shard, butterfly wing, Jeromie’s earring, plastic vampire tooth, bone, conch shell, Fred’s blood, cotton, mannequin hand, forged steel, cast iron, foam, moving blankets

Glass: Jason Forck, Josh Messmer, Chris Hofmann
Marble: Workshop of Gustavo Nequiz
Bronze: Foundry Campanas Sonoras
Steel/Iron: Ed Parrish

Wall Installation: Richena Brockinson, Sovia e Bossemeyer, Mattie Cannon, Matt Constant, Annie Dovali, Sarah Hallett, Joshua Challen Ice, Julie Maher, Kristina Mengis, Riley Morrin, Bridget Quirk

Thank you to Fred Blauth, Anura Maauad, Gloria Paniagua, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Pittsburgh Glass Center, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, UArk Clay Break, Vermont Studio Center

About the Artist

Adam Milner combines and confuses the hoard, the museum, the home, and the body. The resulting works take the form of sculptures, drawing, texts, and interventions which draw from deeply personal experiences to examine notions of value, intimacy, and power. Milner’s collections ultimately point to their own subjectivity, creating blurred categories which embrace queerness. He has exhibited at The Andy Warhol Museum, The Aspen Art Museum, MCA Denver, Casa STUDIO for Creative Inquiry led to Nowhere Voyage, a performance and documentary surrounding a grindr-led cruise liner. Milner received an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University.