Caldwell Snyder Gallery

Greg Miller: Down by the River

Greg Miller: Down by the River

Thursday, May 3, 2012Thursday, May 31, 2012


San Francisco, CA USA

Greg Miller’s paintings embrace the American visual vernacular – that is, the vernacular of the American apex – with almost exhausting breadth. Taking in billboard advertising, comic books, magazine illustration, television programming, and the whole panoply of Mad Men-era consumer stimulus, including the Pop Art that reflected America’s imperial appetites back at it, Miller’s neo-Pop oeuvre muses on the American experience at its self-consuming zenith. Driven by an almost Proustian nostalgia, Miller conjures a double, and double-edged, homage, recalling the images of his childhood as promising comfort and plenitude – comfort and plenitude delivered more effectively by the images themselves than by the goods and services they shilled.

Translating first-hand involvement into experience once removed, and keeping that experience at a remove with resined surfaces, Miller gives his anonymous icons a painterly dynamism that ironically belies the aesthetic neutrality of the originals. Lichtenstein, Rosenquist and Warhol had contemplated the transcendent enervation of such images, rejecting the gesturality of Abstract Expressionism and emphasizing the abstract formal power of the images themselves; but Miller re-injects these images with that very gesturality, marking them as a sign of their resonance with him on a personal level. They mean something markedly different to Miller than they did to his Pop forebears. -- Peter Frank