Millicent Young uses poor materials—horsehair, in particular—to create lyrical abstractions that resemble ancient artifacts or inspired attempts at joining the timeless elements of nature to a contemporary point of view. -- Jonathan Goodman
What it is to be human in a larger than human world has been the focus of my work for 28 years. Fragility, endurance, loss, awe, and paradox: these are portals to transformation individually and collectively expressed. They are central to the content, form, and context of my work. My practice is informed by spiritual ecology, cultural practices of transformation and healing, and the essentiality of inter being. Art is a liminal space.
Focusing on subjects such as extinction, habitat collapse, and the atrocities of war, my work challenges what divides us: within our own being, human from human, human from other than human, culture from nature. Neither beauty nor brutality exists in isolation. The boundaries that define victim and perpetrator or predator and prey are movable. To witness grace and violence is to face the irreconcilable. The artist and the viewer as witness become permeable; to be changed is to create change.
The materials I use are both substance and symbol. They are ordinary and often provided by my place: deadfall trees, vines, barbed wire, waste lumber from sawmills, architectural steel and window frames from derelict buildings. Other materials include: hair, fur, clay, glass, plaster, lead, ink, raw pigments. They both contain memories and record new memories through touch, erosion, evaporation, fire, and other processes of construction and reduction. The materials record and collapse time.
I make all my pieces by hand with simple tools and methods I have developed over years. Some processes are highly repetitive, the form emerging through accretion. Others involve a single irreversible action; from many attempts only one is right. All labor is a powerful ritual, a physical engagement with the unknown and the record of labor itself becomes content.
For the past five years my practice of making sculpture has grown to include working in installation, in iterations, and in multidisciplinary intermedia projects. In these projects, I integrate sound, poetry, and movement with the sculptural installation to create a layered sensorial experience.
- 7 Lines and 16 chords: an arrangement for healing
- canto for the anthropocene 1 , 2017
- canto for the anthropocene 40- Aleph, 2018
- cantos for the anthropocene 11-13 , 2017
- cantos for the anthropocene 15 - 16 , 2017
- cantos for the anthropocene 22 - 29 , 2017
- in the absence of fear, 2020
- psalm for listening- umbilicus, 2020
- psalm for unknowing 1, 2020
- psalm for unknowing 2, 2020
- psalm for unknowing 3, 2020
- psalm for unknowing 4, 2020
- to enter into what is there, 2020
“To be changed is to create change.”
Millicent Young is a full time studio artist focusing on sculpture, installation, and inter-media collaborations involving sculpture, sound, poetry, and movement. Young (b.1958, NYC) attended the Dalton School on scholarship (1962-1976). Her study of the arts and poetry at Dalton and in the museums, streets, and theaters of the city formed the foundation of her art education. Travel, family friendships, and the early influences of Young's anthropologist mother were formative to her sense of citizenship. Young went on to study at Wesleyan University, University of Virginia (BA 1984), University of Denver, and James Madison University (MFA 1997). Young taught studio art and art appreciation from 1986 -2003 at the secondary and college levels and taught hybrid forms of movement practice in a community studio. From 1997- 2017 she worked as a freelance gardener and landscape designer.
Young received Professional Artist Fellowships from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in 1999 and 2014. Since 1995, her work has received numerous awards from curators affiliated with the National Gallery/Smithsonian, Hirshhorn, Dia, New, Guggenheim, and Whitney Museums in juried exhibitions. It received a top award at the Biennale in Florence Italy (2005). Her work is included in the National Museum of Women in the Arts collection. Young's work was featured on the cover of Sculpture Magazine (March/April 2020). In 2022 she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Art, Design, and Art History, James Madison University.
Young currently resides in the Hudson Valley, NY having relocated from rural piedmont Virginia in 2017. She designed and built her current live/work space on the unceded ancestral land of the Lenape People. Her intimacy with place and all who inhabit it inform Young's practice.
ART ON PAPERBooth A-13 | Pier 36 | New York City September 8 - 11, 2022Cross Contemporary Art Projects curates a pop-up exhibition at Art on Paper - an art fair devoted to works of art on paper. This special show features work by Virginia...
KAATSBAAN CULTURAL PARKSecond Annual Sculpture Exhibition 2022 June 5 - August 6, 2022Tivoli, NY - On Saturday, August 6, 2022, 4-6pm, Kaatsbaan Cultural Park will host a public reception and artist walk to celebrate the 2022 outdoor sculpture exhibition. This is the...
Millicent Young: In The Silence BetweenK A A T S B A A N Cultural Park June 5 - October 31, 2022Nearly biblical if also abstract, this work suggests some sort of ancient conundrum--the string enters into space from within a darkness whose meaning we can only intuit. (We remember that...
FRAGILE RAINBOW: TRAVERSING HABITATSMay 7 - June 4, 2022Including more than fifty artists from the New York City region working in painting, sculpture, video and installation, members of ecoartspace, an international platform for artists addressing environmental issues. The...
ART ON PAPER NYCBooth A-13 | Sept 9-11,2022 September 8 - 11, 2022Cross Contemporary Art Projects goes to New York City for the annual Art on Paper Art Fair located in downtown Manhattan's Pier 36, Sept 8...
KAATSBAAN SCULPTURE EXHIBITION ARTISTS' WALK & RECEPTIONKaatsbaan Cultural Park August 6, 2022KAATSBAAN SCULPTURE EXHIBITION ARTISTS' WALK & RECEPTION 120 Broadway Tivoli, NY 12583 (845) 757-5106 firstname.lastname@example.org Tivoli, NY - On Saturday, August 6, 2022, 4-6pm, Kaatsbaan...
MILLICENT YOUNG : In The Silence BetweenThe Studio Building Gallery at KAATSBAAN CULTURAL PARK August 6, 2022Millicent Young: IN THE SILENCE BETWEEN Reception for the Artist: August 6, 4 -6 pm The Studio Gallery at KAATSBAAN CULTURAL PARK 120 Broadway, Tivoli...
Penelope and the Geeseat Broken Wing Barn June 24, 2022Reserve Your Tickets Today! Penelope and the Geese, a new chamber opera workshop presented by The Theoria Foundation (photo by Charise Isis) Penelope and the...
ART ON PAPER NYCBooth A-13 | Sept 9-11,2022 September 8 - 11, 2022Cross Contemporary Art Projects goes to New York City for the annual Art on Paper Art Fair located in downtown Manhattan's Pier 36, Sept 8 -11, 2022. Featuring artwork on (and of) paper by Virginia Bradley , Susan Copich , Priscilla Heine , Nikolaos Katranis , Iain Machell , Alvin Roy , Christy Rupp , Melinda Stickney-Gibson , Lou Tavelli , Francine Tint and Millicent Young , Cross Contemporary Art Projects exhibits a cross-section of Contemporary Art by noted mid-career artists and is located in booth A-13. Art on Paper...
"Human Here and Now" Jonathan Goodman, Sculpture Magazine, March/April, 2020
"Millicent Young: Elegies" Jonathan Goodman, WhiteHot Magazine, April 2020
"Millicent Young:Spirituality and Awareness in Contemporary Art" Jonathan Goodman, FronteraD, 2019
"Millicent Young at Cross Contemporary Art" Jonathan Goodman, WhiteHot Magazine, 2019
"Millicent Young: Encountering the Unknown" Scott Gleeson, Peripheral Vision Press 2018
"Millicent Young:Earthly Flights of Imagination" Kingston Arts, 2018
POSIT: a journal of art and literature, #16, 2018
"Remembering Awe" Sarah Sargent 2017
"Under the Radar: Millicent Young" Ann Landi October 2016
"Known/Not Known" exhibition catalog 2014
"Millicent Young Seeks a New Mythology" Sarah Sargent November 2013
"Millicent Young's Transformative Gift" Gerald Ross, 2013
"Millicent Young:Solid into Vapor" Deborah McLeod, 2013
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After the Birdsby filmmakers Meira Blaustein and Megan Sperry March 11, 2022AFTER THE BIRDS by filmmakers Meira Blaustein and Megan Sperry, is a short film about my project WHEN THERE WERE BIRDS. Part documentary, part...
Art IsA Conversation with Millicent Young and George Quasha March 24, 2022Millicent Young and George Quasha at Cross Contemporary Art on November 11, 2018.
Millicent YoungVehicles of Change March 24, 2022Millicent Young discussed her work and process at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
REMAINSA multi-media Installation by Millicent Young May 23, 2022REMAINS is a multimedia installation made with charred wood, repurposed steel factory windows, fumed and altered glass, lead came, and a motion activated audio track...