Dan Miller’s work was acquired by New York’s MoMA, making him one of the first Art brut creators, to join one of the world’s most prestigious public art collections. His work has also found room in the collections of Maurizio Cattelan, Cindy Sherman, and David Byrne, giving further proof that his work transcends the divide between Art brut and contemporary art.
Dan Miller himself certainly has no interest in this debate, however; his severe autism locks him away in his own world, occasionally casting forth these mysterious over-written drawings, their words and signs scarifying the paper to the point of illegibility and dizzying overabundance.
Cy Twombly – whose work shares certain common traits with that of Miller – sometimes follows the same path, but where Miller constructs his own language, Twombly deconstructs it. The mirror effect is striking, yet is incapable of exhausting the questions raised by such works. Rather, it resists them, and as Richard Leeman has written, “A ‘brut’ body of work like that of Dan Miller is of such complex simplicity that by definition it escapes the questions, fads, and neuroses of what is commonly called contemporary art”.
The sole point of certainty lies rather in the state of flux between writing and drawing – two practices with a shared root in language: both are graphein in Greek.
It is as if Dan Miller’s echolalia translates above all the need to speak, to prove his existence in words, by whatever means he has at his disposal.
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 II, from april 25th to may 17th, 2014.