Harland Miller’s lovely new show

Blain|Southern Berlin is hosting Famous favorite Harland Miller’s first ever solo exhibition in Germany: Tonight We Make History (P.S. I Can’t Be There). The presentation (30 April 2016 – 30 July 2016) of new paintings marks 25 years since the artist and novelist lived in the city.

Miller’s paintings marry refined brush work and art historical references with powerful use of language and self-deprecating wit. In a departure from earlier works, the exhibition centres around an entirely new body of large-scale paintings that employ the graphic language of psychology books particular to the 1960s and early 70s.

Departing from his use of appropriated imagery, the exhibition comprises many new large-scale paintings that incorporate his own designs, which is a first for the artist.  He takes formal and conceptual inspiration from the abstract geometrical covers of popular psychology books of the 60s and 70s, an era when positive messaging often masked societal neurosis.

The show features both very large paintings (Overcoming Optimism and Back on the Worry Beads) as well as smaller ones. Often the same text appears on different compositions, demonstrating how form and colour relationships can change the way in which titles are interpreted.

Upstairs, a new body of the artist’s most iconic artworks, The Penguin Books Series paintings, are bought together including; High on Hope, I’ll Never Forget What I Can’t Remember and the titular Tonight We Make History (P.S. I Can’t Be There). 

Images by Harland Miller/Blain|Southern
Images by Harland Miller/Blain|Southern