Greg Miller & Michael Mew
21 Jan — 4 Mar 2017 at the William Turner Gallery in Santa Monica, United States
The William Turner Gallery is pleased to present our upcoming exhibition, The Misfits, featuring new paintings by Greg Miller and collages by Michael Mew.
These are road paintings. Like the movies of the great American film genre, Greg Miller’s densely collaged works invite viewers to embark upon epic journeys. A symbol of opportunity and exploration, the open road has long been used in American cinema to tell stories of individual self discovery, as well as to reflect shifting national identities. Miller’s paintings mirror this notion of the intrinsically linked relationship between the self and the collective culture.
Continually drawing inspiration from his own early memories of road trips and ghost towns, Miller’s visual vocabulary is mined from the great American west. Born in 1951, the artist came of age in the Bay Area in the 1960s and 70s, a time when America’s projected Post-War idealism was at odds with tumultuous political and social conflict. There are clear parallels to Pop in Miller’s work - they have the billboard like energy and sensual rendering of Rosenquist, the borrowed commercial imagery of Warhol, and the rough and rugged aesthetic of Rauschenberg, however Miller’s brand of visual narrative is uniquely his own.
Meticulously sourced and collected over the years, Miller utilizes text and imagery culled from mid century magazines, pulp fiction and dime store novels. Immortalizing the ephemeral against his expertly rendered paintings - often of gorgeous femme fatales - Miller creates a palpable sense of romance, both erotic and nostalgic. What is striking about Miller’s work is that it does not appear to operate on a linear time scale. Rather, Miller’s particular juxtaposition of fragmented imagery from different decades creates an intriguing and enigmatic space where feelings of deja vu take us down the winding avenues of memory, beckoning to us like an open road.
Working with found imagery and ephemera collected over his career, Michael Mew creates dynamic collages that pair the fantastic with the mundane to create spectacular new visual landscapes. His process is layered and nuanced - working intuitively, Mew’s compositions arise from an unlocking of the subconscious mind. Mew utilized straight sewing pins to hold his cut images in place in this latest collection of collages. The use of pins creates a a dense architectural structure adding an element of depth and dimension to the 2-D surfaces. Often uniting disparate elements, Mew creates a new and imaginative narrative inside each collage.