Bill Miller's "Starry Night."
Bill Miller's "The Steal Mill," 2016. Vintage linoleum collage.
Bill Miller's "Willis and Ginny," 2019 Vintage linoleum collage.
Bill Miller's "James’ Chair," 2019. Vintage linoleum collage.
Bill Miller's "The Farmhouse," 2020. Vintage linoleum collage.
Bill Miller's "Vincent’s Bedroom in Blue (after Van Gogh)," 2020. Vintage linoleum collage.
The New York City-based exhibition and programming space dieFirma is bringing the art to Shelter Island in a new show titled “In this house I call home,” an exhibition of a series of more than 30 new collages created by artist Bill Miller over the last year, including some of his most ambitious, large-scale works to date. The exhibition runs August 19 to August 23 at dieFirma East and was originally slated for this past spring prior to the COVID-19 lockdown.
As an artist, Miller cuts and arranges vintage linoleum to explore the work of memory and how representation conditions personal and collective consciousnesses. Using images taken from his own life, pop culture, and art — such as van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles — Miller transmutes found linoleum, which bears the scuffs and scrapes of its use, into a witness and teller of history.
Both an authentic artifact and artificial material, linoleum was often manufactured to create illusions of more valuable surfaces. Miller doesn’t modify the surface of this now out-of-fashion material, instead choosing to transform its plainness into complex pictorial arrangements, while letting its own material legacy speak. Whether recognizable from Grandma’s kitchen, a childhood school room, or the corner drug store, in Miller’s hand linoleum evokes commonplace memories, as well as broader narratives of industrialization, deindustrialization, violence, and loss that have shaped much of American culture and Miller’s own life as a working-class artist.
The collages featured in “In this house I call home” have an abiding curiosity about the past, and a conviction that its traces can be imbued with new life. dieFirma East will offer the opportunity to take in the full significance and scale of Miller’s collages in a wooded, waterfront location as part of a unique socially distanced art experience. For the five day exhibition, dieFirma East will offer limited sign-ups to permit the safe experience of “In this house I call home.” Visit diefirmanyc.com for more information and email email@example.com to reserve a viewing time and receive specifics of the exhibition location. The artist will be on hand for guided tours and to answer questions.
Bill Miller was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1962. He studied at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, during which time he became a founding member of the Industrial Arts Coop. After earning his degree, he moved to Denver, Colorado where he studied at Denver University and Colorado State University, concentrating on painting and printmaking. In 1988 Miller moved to New York City, where he worked at The Village Voice and exhibited his work in a series of exhibits in Chelsea. In 2000, he relocated to Washington, D.C., to focus full time on his art. Miller’s work has been widely exhibited, including in solo shows in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Seattle, New Orleans, and other cities across the United States. His collages have also been shown in group exhibitions in Barcelona and London. In 2007, he had a retrospective at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and Media. Miller currently resides in Pittsburgh.
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