Dan Miller’s tireless creativity in superimposing considerable layers of writing to the point of illegibility has proved such a source of fascination for audiences that his art has now reached beyond the sphere of Art Brut to enter the permanent collection at MoMA in New York. While his work is highly contemporary in formal terms, with notable echoes of Pollock and Cy Twombly, Miller nonetheless invents his modes of expression outside the boundaries of mainstream artistic debate.
Dan Miller, born in Castro Valley in 1961, is autistic. He has been attending the Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, California, for over fifteen years, giving entirely unfettered reign to his inventive imagination. He is obsessed with household objects such as light bulbs and electric sockets, the names of towns and cities, people, numbers, and foodstuffs. He pours his inner world onto the paper, intensely repeating its key signifiers in paint, pen, pencil, and felt tip.
The various media intertwine and pile up like the words themselves to create subtle strata of undeniable pictorial power. His works – in black and white or colour – reveal a rare dynamic force that seems to breathe new life into the body of the letters and the expressive power of words, above and beyond the lexical encryption caused by their accumulation.
Having become, in a decade, one of the most recognized contemporary brut artists, this autistic native of California is sometimes compared to Cy Twombly: while the latter deconstructs language, the former builds it. Since 2010, the gallery has contributed to its international recognition by organizing several exhibitions and publishing the only monograph available to date, enriched with an essay by Richard Leemann. Present in countless public and private collections - including those of the MoMA and Pompidou –, Dan Miller’s work was also part of the official selection of the 2017 Venice Biennale.
Prefaces : Richard Leeman & Tom di Maria
Foreword : Christian Berst
Catalog published to mark the exhibition Dan Miller : Graphein I, from march 24th to may 19th, 2012.