Sunday, March 6, 2016

Harland Miller, Blonde But Not Forgotten (15-color silkscreen from White Cube Editions)

[Photo by Ryan Muir]

This is my living room, and above the sofa is a fantastic 15-color silkscreen by Harland Miller from 2013 (we just got it back from the framer's yesterday). It's number 39 from an edition of 50, and signed and numbered along the bottom edge of the print. My wife and I discovered Harland Miller's work through Other Criteria and quickly fell in love with his colorful, sarcastic twists on classic penguin book design.

Harland Miller, "Blonde But Not Forgotten", 2013
15-color silkscreen from an edition of 50, 53 1/4 x 43 1/4 inches.

Astute readers will see that "Blonde But Not Forgotten" is in the traditional format of a vintage penguin mystery. Miller's books are all fictional titles (and often, like Overcoming Optimism or A Fist To Cry On, quite cheeky) but he manages to give them a similar textual charm and mystery as Ed Ruscha. To me, the structured color fields of Miller's vintage penguirs blur into the realm of Mark Rothko -- here are some comparatives I've pulled from some recent Sotheby's auctions so you'll see what I mean. Combine these in your mind:

Ed Ruscha, "She Gets Angry At Him", 1974
Egg Yolk on moiré, 36 x 40 inches

Mark Rothko, "Untitled (Lavender and Green)", 1952
Oil on canvas, 67 1/2 x 44 1/2 inches

I think Harland Miller's absolutely fantastic and a great additional for any book collector's library. We've wanted one for a long time and found an incredible deal on eBay from a seller in Norway who had an accident with its frame and I think decided to part ways with it instead of put a chunk of money into framing it again (this seems particularly likely now that we've seen, first-hand, how much it costs...)

Currently reading:
Man on Fire by Stephen Kelman
The Seven Madmen by Roberto Arlt
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Beverly by Nick Drnaso

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