Steve Miller: Saúde do Planeta
Friday, July 13 – Monday, August 13, 2012
Global Outpost, 2011 inkjet and silk screen on canvas, 40 x 60 inches
Harper’s Books is proud to present Saúde do Planeta (Health of the Planet), the first solo exhibition of artist’s books by Steve Miller. The exhibition will feature glass sculptures that frame unique books showing x-rays of plants and animals from the Brazilian Amazon. Paintings, works on paper, photographs, and customized book editions will also be included alongside the new sculptures.
In August 2011, Miller worked with the Instituto Goeldi in Belem, Brazil, to create a series of x-ray images revealing the extraordinary beauty of Brazil’s biodiversity. The simple clarity of these x-ray animal images, in black and white, are then laminated between sheets of glass. The images include plants, a six-foot alligator, snakes, sharks, and a female sloth with offspring entitled Sloth Pieta. In Miller’s work, the Brazilian sloth, which suffers from air pollution and the loss of its tree environment, is symbolic of a planet being sacrificed for human kind’s progress.
Miller collects books about Brazil in which he silk-screens x-ray images, taken on the ground, alongside remote sensing satellite imagery of Amazon land use. The books are then reinterpreted, juxtaposing these images with Miller’s photographs of electrical wiring shot in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. The result is a unique body of art highlighting how resource depletion is caused by cycles of human desire, consumption, and change. Yet within this tableau of environmental distress, what comes to life through Miller’s aesthetic is a celebration of the innate beauty and interconnectedness of the man made and natural world, culminating in a cutting-edge design sensibility that permeates all the media Miller has employed in this exhibition.
When looking at Miller’s work, the Brazilian writer Paulo Lima observed that: “Photographing animals with X-Ray equipment brings to our attention a sort of ‘interior beauty’, from extremely complex structures found in nature and the animal world, with designs impossible to be recreated by the most talented of designers. Flesh and bone, vertebrae, scales, skins, both soft and hard structural make up a moveable and flexible world which comes to life.”
Over the past 32 years, Steve Miller has presented 33 solo exhibitions at institutions in the United States, China, France, Germany and Brazil. His exhibitions have been reviewed in Le Monde, Süddeutsche Zeitung, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, ArtForum, ARTnews, and Art in America. Miller was one of the first artists to experiment with computers in the early 1980’s, and his work today continues to integrate science and technology with fine art.