John Miller (American, b.1954) is a sculptor, painter, and installation artist. After studying at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Whitney Museum of Art, Miller completed his formal education at the California Institute of the Arts. He began showing his work while in school, and embarked on solo exhibitions in 1982. The exposure of his work was limited to galleries in New York and Los Angeles throughout the 1980s. The next decade, however, afforded Miller the opportunity to display his art in Europe, in galleries such as the Jablonka Galerie in Cologne and the Foundation Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon.
More recent displays of the artist’s work were at Sutton Lane in London and the Kunsthalle in Zurich. When selecting an existing location or physical space, a typical installation artist applies artistic media to alter the appearance of that space. This can be arranged in a gallery corner or in an outdoor meadow. In his critique of middle-class culture, Suburban Past Time, Miller intersperses artificial flora and rock formations with loudly colored filing cabinets. These elements of shallowness are backed by murals of undistinguished apartment houses and hotels, underscoring the deadening homogeneity.
In a similar fashion, Miller compiles numerous items of little value, such as recyclables and trash, and gilds them with gold leaf. This creation, The New Honeymooners, scorns the superficial values of a market-driven society. These works demonstrate the influence of his friend and contemporary, Mike Kelley (American, 1954–2012), an artist with whom Miller also collaborated musically. Like Miller, Kelley sought to puncture popular perceptions with his art. In fact, the two men held a joint exhibition at the Tate Liverpool Gallery in 2004. Critics recognize the contemptuous message in Miller's work. One The New York Times art writer observed "reflexive disdain" in his installation art while The New Yorker described it as "ornery and raffish." When not creating, Miller teaches at Columbia University. He divides his time between New York and Berlin. A Cleveland native, Miller is represented principally by Metro Pictures.