Open Mind Art Space is honored to present "Awakening", a solo exhibition featuring paintings by Los Angeles-based artist, Milan Tiff.
"Awakening" is a selection of paintings by artist Milan Tiff, completed over the span of almost 40 years, since his last public showing in 1983. While the exhibition is a re-emergence of Tiff’s art into the contemporary art scene, it is also representative of a broad “awakening” of the collective human consciousness. At a time when world politics has people fired up over various issues impacting modern society, Tiff’s powerful paintings act as an illustration of a shared feeling of discontentment and humanity’s plea for positive change. Inspired by historical events over the past several decades, Tiff often makes his art about politics, religion, and science. These themes are overtly intertwined in the imagery depicted in his work, and are highlighted in the exhibition as an unsettling warning of how greed and corruption could put society on a dangerous path towards intensifying conflict and disunity.
In addition to their powerful imagery, Milan Tiff’s paintings, each measuring 4 feet square, are characterized by vivid colors and geometric shapes, occasionally paired with natural forms and textures. The surface of each painting maintains a satisfyingly smooth appearance and is virtually absent of brush strokes. In his piece titled “The Last Supper”, an erupting nuclear explosion is seen through tryptic windows that resemble those seen in the iconic 15th-century painting of the same title by Leonardo da Vinci. The white of the nuclear cloud is the bare canvas upon which Tiff gently renders, with colored pencils, the soft details and shadows of the cloud. The contrasts between the colorful graphic elements and the muted organic details provide visual balance across all of Tiff’s paintings. It is also this push and pull of control in Tiff’s work that is interconnected with the order and disorder of humankind’s eternal effort for peace and unity.
Milan Tiff was born in 1949 in Shaker Heights, Ohio and studied at The Cleveland Institute of Art, Miami University of Ohio, and UCLA. Tiff was severely disabled due to Polio until the age of ten but eventually trained to become an international champion track and field Hall of Fame athlete earning several national and international medals and world record titles. Influenced by his artistic family, Tiff relied on art as a way to cope with his disability during his youth and continued his art practice through his athletic career to the present. His experience studying medical illustration and art restoration influenced his masterful style of painting hard lines and edges with surgical precision and using just the right paint-to-water ratio to achieve the beautifully smooth quality in each of his pieces. Milan’s semi-abstract paintings are collected privately worldwide.