October 6 - November 4, 2017
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“In practice, however, millennial pink is whatever shade of pink you want it to be.” - Sady Doyle, Quartz Media
Millennial Pink is an all-media exhibition that explores gender identity, pop culture, sexuality, politics, and shades of Pantone pink.
Much has been written about the generation of Americans dubbed “Millennials”. These are the folks born in the U.S. between the approximate dates of 1981-2001, bookmarked on either end by the beginning of the Reagan Years and the terrorist attacks of 9/11. This highly reported upon group have been much maligned (“Blame it on Millennials!”), rarely lauded (“Millennials are actually good workers”), and mostly misrepresented through its over-representation. One surprisingly simple trend identified amongst Millennials is the prevalence of the color pink in online media and consumer culture. Millennials are the first generation in living memory to see pink as a gender-flexible color that pervades contemporary fashion. Hip-hop, dominated by hyper-masculinity has also been dominated by pink for more than a decade. Kanye West, Jaden Smith, and Young Thug frequently style themselves in women’s wear. Yet pink also has been embraced by many contemporary feminists as witnessed by prevalence of pussy hats at the Women’s March. Pink is the color of candy, but pink is also the color Kendall Jenner paints her walls to suppress her appetite. The dichotomies are abundant as this generation is one of fluid identities, pick-and-choose politics, and blurred lines between virtual/online spaces and IRL (In-Real-Life).
The artists in this exhibition embrace any combination of color formalism and abstraction, iconography of the internet, personal identity politics, gender liberation, and celebratory critiques of consumerism. This exhibition will portray a series of crystallized moments in a spectrum of shifting cultural norms all unified by a single color.
One question we ask at the Ann Arbor Art Center, “By October, will Millennial Pink even be a thing?”
Ash Arder (Detroit, MI) | Heidi Barlow (Detroit, MI) | Emmy Bright (Detroit, MI) | Carson Davis Brown (Los Angeles, CA) | Anna Campbell (Grand Rapids, MI) | Debbie Carlos (Lansing, MI) | Gabrielle DeCaro (Pasadena, CA) | Nicole Dyar (Houston, TX) | Riley Hanson (Philadelphia, PA) | Shaina Kasztelan (Detroit, MI) | Jeff Kraus (Brooklyn, NY) | Chelsea Lee (Richmond, VA) | Elise Mesner (Los Angeles, CA) | Victoria Shaheen (Detroit, MI) | Sophie Yan (Detroit, MI)