Conduit Gallery is honored to present Sweet and Sorrow, an exhibition of paintings by Denton, Texas based artist, Steven J. Miller. Miller’s paintings are straight landscape paintings of an imagined, not too distant future in a world that may or may not be our own. The familiar objects and places (cities, trains and houses) in the paintings are integrated with the unfamiliar (islands shaped like thumbs and fantastical twenty-third century architecture.) The paintings are rendered with precise lines, and color is utilized to emphasize the flatness of the picture plane. His attention to the precision of the paintings lend an Eastern sensibility to the work. While the form of the paintings nod to an Eastern style, the content consists of a distinctively Western narrative.
I am a storyteller. Over time, recurring themes in my stories are ideas of how things relate to each other, how humans relate to the natural world, and how they relate to each other. Looking at the paintings for Sweet and Sorrow, I see my recurring themes but there is a new element, a concept that I haven’t used before. I’ve been reflecting on mortality, not in a morbid sense but more of a contemplation about consciousness. When I leave this plane of existence, what have I left behind? My mark making, my family, my friends will survive me. My time is finite, how do I use it and enjoy it? These are the thoughts that are feeding into my new stories. Steven Miller, 2016
Steven Miller earned an M.F.A. from the University of North Texas, Denton, TX (1978) and a B.F.A. from Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, MO (1974.) In 1998, Miller was awarded the Fulbright Memorial Scholarship, which involved an extended study/travel opportunity in Japan. That trip has continued to inspire the content and composition of Miller’s paintings and drawings. He has shown extensively throughout Texas and in 2010 was awarded the Claud Vance Memorial Award at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX.