John M. Miller’s Striking Paintings Evidence Subtlety and Induce Serenity
Installation view of John M. Miller at Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach. Courtesy Peter Blake Gallery and the artist.
While visually arresting at first glance, exhibition of eight paintings at Peter Blake Gallery activates a sense of serenity; his works seem to heighten both consciousness and perception.
With a uniformity that at turns resembles tally marks on a wall or jagged latticework, an agitated house of cards or an arcane code, Miller’s canvases exude a powerful sense of repetition, with subtle, almost imperceptible shifts in form and color. Made from acrylic resin on canvas, his markings pulsate with a consistent rhythm, yet they are not homogenous. Rather, each meticulously hand-painted, sharp mark is simultaneously distinct and indistinguishable from the rest. These formal tensions between singularity and similarity, spontaneity and deliberation give his swaths of slightly varying lines a highly palpable sense of harmony.
In the past, Miller’s works have been associated with Geometric Abstraction, or subsumed under the heading of
The geometric abstraction in Miller’s canvases may short-circuit external associations, but rather than entirely abandoning context, his marks become the context itself, drawing attention to and amplifying the act of perception without triggering the responses induced by Op Art. Miller’s paintings, if given a chance, fully command a viewer’s immediate field of vision, without dictating the terms of a viewer’s response, even as they gently guide it.
“John M. Miller” is on view at Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, Sept. 26–Dec. 5, 2015.