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Wardell Milan | Etchings

Wardell Milan’s large-scale prints are complex, multi-layered compositions that combine a myriad of etching techniques with linocuts and woodcuts.

They depict human bodies immersed in arcadian landscapes, which were drawn on copper plates with etching needles, brushes and acid, interspersed with silvery blossoms which were printed from woodblocks and linoleum. They offer an almost utopian counterproposal to Wardell Milan’s previous etchings, which referred to the political and social reality of the United States with explicit and at times brutal honesty.

For all their serenity, the etchings still present the human body as fundamentally political: his protagonists interact not through words, but through body language and touch; they seem removed from societal power struggles, but they still negotiate social relationships through sexual and spiritual intimacy.

Milan carefully planned and executed the individual pictorial elements with copper, wood, and linoleum. However, he deliberately delayed decisions regarding the overall compositions until the individual printing plates were assembled for proofing. He thus combines the signature technical precision of his work on copper plates with the intuitive feel for the construction of multi-layered pictorial spaces, which he developed through his practice in the medium of collage.

Giovanni and his erotic spirits, 2024

He darts his tongue out of his tingling lips, 2023
Lovers, taking in the air, 2023

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