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Rags to Polyester

Rags to Polyester

Giclee print on German etching 310gsm paper, 2014. Edition of 50


Courtesy the artist and White Cube

In his ongoing series of fictional Penguin book-cover paintings, Miller paints the old colour-block covers which were used by the publishing house to denote genres, inscribing his own name as author of books with enjoyably deadpan, funny titles. While detached and conceptual, they make reference to the language of Abstract Expressionism and present their graphic style and literary subject with an expressive painterly style. In this work, the book's title seems tinged with a kind of disco nostalgia, an enjoyably cynical note that suggests failed personal ambition and affordable glamour.

Harland Miller

Harland Miller is both a writer and an artist, practising both roles over a peripatetic career in both Europe and America.  In 2001 Miller produced a series of paintings based on the dust jackets of Penguin books. By combining the motif inherent in the Penguin book, Miller found a way to marry aspects of Pop Art, abstraction and figurative painting at once, with his writer's love of text. The ensuing images are humorous, sardonic and nostalgic at the same time, while the painting style hints at the dog-eared, scuffed covers of the Penguin classics themselves. Miller continues to create work in this vein, expanding the book covers to include his own phrases, some hilarious and absurd, others with a lush melancholy.

Group exhibitions include 'Fools Rain', ICA, London (1996), 'Direct Painting', Kunsthalle, Mannheim (2004), 'Summer Exhibition', Royal Academy of Arts, London (2005, 2006) and 'The Sculpture in the Close', Jesus College, Cambridge (2013). Solo exhibitions include 'Don't Let the Bastards Cheer You Up', BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2009) and 'The Next Life's On Me', White Cube Hoxton Square, London (2012).