Nicelle Beauchene is pleased to present Sun Muzzle, a solo exhibition of new paintings by James Miller. In his first exhibition with the gallery, Miller captures traces of movement, light, and shadow with acrylic paint on canvas in a process parallel to cameraless photography.
Miller draws heavily from the history of photographic and light-based media in both method and aesthetics—translating the rhetoric of an additive light process to a subtractive color medium. In a spray booth of his own design, Miller constructed a room-sized apparatus to harness the flow of pigment to canvas in a process analogous to darkroom exposure. He inserts found objects and studio debris into this system as negative forms, which create crops, leaks, filters, and strobes, while impressions of light and motion are built through layers of translucent color.
In Sun Muzzle, from which this exhibition takes its name, the rhythmic pulse of white strips against a gray tonal field enacts the stroboscopic motion studies of Etienne-Jules Marey or the blurring of object and shadow in Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon. Alternatively, in K in the Garden, Miller frames an atmospheric environment akin to a psychedelic light show—ambient visual noise in a palette of yellows, greens, and purples.
In this exhibition, Miller has generated a varied, expanding environment of visual feedback, fluctuating between deep illusionistic space and retinal afterimages. His subtle treatment of color, mimetic renderings of light, and captured motion combine to create an uncanny effect.
James Miller (b. 1986, San Diego, CA) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He received his MFA from Yale University in 2014. Recent exhibitions include Mehoyas, New York, NY; Essex Flowers, New York, NY; Underdonk, Brooklyn, NY; Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA, among others. This fall he was a visiting artist at Cooper Union and he was a recipient of the Dedalus Foundation Fellowship in 2014-15.