January 12 - February 18, 2012
Reception: Thurs., Jan 12 from 6pm to 8pm
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Mitch Millers work is rooted in a fraught relationship with the natural world that began in formative visits to the awe-inspiring sites where his father worked as a petroleum engineer. In Natural Selection, creature-like sculptures in reclaimed Styrofoam perch on pedestals and hang suspended in the air. The largest hanging pieces are literally moving targets. After assembling and painting, the final stage of production involves participants shooting at the glacial craters with a bow and arrow. This activity causes the structure to spin, gouges the textured surface and splinters off pieces that are then reassembled to create the smaller-scale works.
The paintings in Natural Selection also involve chance: the artist starts blindfolded, laying down the initial structure. Millers series, Bobcat Mountain Studio, at first appear to be dramatic, exuberant brushstrokes and washes in white and violent red with lines of charcoal. At closer inspection an architectural fantasy that somewhat resembles the artists own mountain residence can be found nestled into what reveals itself to be a sweeping landscape. Both in format and subject matter Eastern scroll painting inspire these works, wherein the shifting scale and grandeur of nature often dwarfs the almost invisible mark of man. Millers work is a reminder that humans are capable of the most brutal and beautiful of things.
Mitch Miller earned degrees in Biology and Fine Art from the University of Colorado in 1997. After completing an MFA at the University of Kansas, Miller moved to New York in 2000 where he embarked on ambitious projects including the conversions of a former Times Square strip club into a massive art center. Through this project, Miller received grants from Scope International Art Fair and Socrates Sculpture Park, where he completed his first public sculptures in 2004. The artist has since exhibited widely in the United States and abroad at venues including Marc DePuechredon, Basel, Switzerland; White Columns, New York City; Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China; Rare Gallery, New York City and ADA Gallery, Richmond, Virginia among others. Mitch Miller now lives and works on Bobcat Mountain in Colorado.