Acrylic resin on raw canvas
32 3/4 x 35 1/8 in.
83.2 x 89.2 cm
For more than four decades, John M. Miller devoted himself to creating abstract paintings that are as rigorous and demanding as they are beautiful. From one work to the next he explored a single compositional format: a rhythmic structure of hard-edged diagonal bars of color on raw canvas. From 1973 until his death in November 2016, he nev- er abandoned this deceptively simple structure; making only subtle adjustments to the color, placement, size and proportions of its elements, he achieved surprisingly dramatic di erences in how the overall structure is perceived. Miller’s paintings are engaging perceptual puzzles that disclose their secrets slowly. With extended viewing, the bars that initially appear to be dark black in many of his works reveal their true colors—rich, closely valued shades of deep red, blue, green or violet. Miller was also attracted to bright whites and sparkling, golden ochre hues, and among his most compelling paintings are compositions in which panels carrying bars in those luminous shades are juxtaposed with others bearing bars tinted in deeper tones. Suggesting the opposition of mind and body, cerebral enlightenment and physical passion, these works are infused with decidedly spiritual qualities.
Standing before one of Miller’s dazzling abstractions, we become not merely witnesses to but participants in a slowly unfolding event, or as the artist once described it, “a moment in flux,” in which distinctions between internal and external phenomena become di use, then reform only to dissipate again. Senses are challenged and sharp- ened; thoughts gain clarity. And given the right frame of mind, we may begin to examine not only what we are seeing, but how we are seeing, and ultimately, the very nature of consciousness itself.
Executor, The Estate of John M. Miller