SCHOOL OF THE ABYSS
May 5, 2017 – June 17, 2017
115 Second Street SE
Charlottesville, VA 22902
First Friday Opening Reception, May 5, 2017, 5:30-7:30 PM
Kickback with Skateboard, 2015
Forces at Play, August 2015
Mata Atlântica, 2014
Yin Yang, skate pair, 2008.
Second Street Gallery is pleased to present Steve Miller’s School of the Abyss,a series of mixed media works exploring the influence of science and technology on modern culture.
School of the Abyss is comprised of 11 paintings from Miller’s recent body of work, Health of the Planet, a series of x-ray photographs of Amazonian flora and fauna silkscreened onto canvas. The exhibition also includes a selection of surfboards and skateboards that expand on these x-ray images. Playing on the Amazon’s nickname, “the lungs of the planet,” Miller sets out to give the world a “metaphorical checkup” by incorporating x-rays of the flora and fauna of the rainforests in his work. According to Miller:
Amazon flora and fauna are resources dwindling in number so there is no need to capture the swimming alligator, stuff it and mount it on a wall for ego and vanity. In Brazil, the surfboard is the metaphoric connection to water. This is a trophy that can be found in a favela or in a home of the famous. Mount an x-ray of a live alligator onto a surfboard to create the Eco-trophy. Lay a python on a skateboard and make the same shape with your moving feet to Samba with Science.
Having received his silkscreen training from printers that worked directly with Andy Warhol, Miller’s technique reveals an expert amalgamation of aesthetics and technology. The results of his mastery are works blending the conceptually intense with the visually striking. Inspired by likeminded artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, a pioneer remembered for his diverse fusion of imagery from diverse sources without boundaries or restraint, Miller’s paintings and photographs are similarly liberated to speak and analyze politically while engaging viewers imaginatively and viscerally.
Recognized as an early pioneer of the Sci-Art movement, Miller has shown his work in more than 50 solo exhibitions, including the National Academy of Sciences, the Hong Kong Arts Centre, Rose Art Museum, the Centre International d’Art Visuels CARGO in Marseilles, and the CAPC Muse?e d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux. He has also participated in group exhibitions at the New Museum, the Bronx Museum, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Everson Museum of Art. In 2004 Miller, who has lived and worked between Eastern Long Island and New York City since 1975, was honored as a New York Foundation for the Arts painting fellow.