Judy Millar

JUDY MILLAR

Upcoming Solo Exhibition

FOLD is excited to present a solo exhibition of new painting by New Zealand born artist Judy Millar.

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Studies in Place

Studies in Place: Works on Paper 1989 & 2017. A solo exhibition of small works on paper from 1989 and 2017 at Gow Langsford Gallery  from 8th August 2018 – 1st September 2018 .

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Catalogue – Studies in Place

40 page catalogue published to coincide with the exhibition Studies in Place: Works on Paper 1989 & 2017  Gow Langsford Gallery ISBN: 978-0-9941276-2-4

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The Waves

A group exhibition curated by Kate Britton for Sullivan+Strumpf Sydney from 18th August 2018 – 15th September 2018.

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Unpainting – Contemporary Abstraction

Group Show at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. 9th September 2017 – August 2018.

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My Body Pressed

Without our body we don’t exist, this to me is our experience of the world and this is what paintings can directly address.

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About: Judy Millar

Her work looks outwards rather than in, participating in a global conversation about the relationship that painting has with the real world.

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Review: by Andrew Paul Wood

If Millar ever ventures into a palette of silver, grey and faded rose, it would not shock me in the least.

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Welcome To The Fluorescence

Constant artistic experimentation and mystic inquisitiveness, engage and invigorate.

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Review: My Body Pressed

By Tracey Clement for Art Guide.

Essay by Jodie Dalgleish.

Her work not only activates space but also allows the kind of ‘space creation’ current in philosophy, cultural geography and advanced architectural research.

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Leave The Doors And Windows Open

Solo show at Robert Heald Gallery, Wellington. Jan 25 – Feb 17, 2018.

Swallowed In Space

Blood red, jade green, and a bruising purple resonate against yellow and incandescent orange in Judy Millar’s new paintings.

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Rock Drop

This work plays with the complexity of the vibrant junction between the Victorian, neo-Classical and 21st century architecture of the building.

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Turning the World Inside Out

Solo show at Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand. 2016.

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I used to think painting was a way of thinking. Now I know it to be much more than that.
It is the flash of big brain meeting small brain, of consciousness meeting thought, or of consciousness meeting mind through the body.

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In Conversation with Kate Brettkelly-Chalmers.

Tango Them Basel

Featuring Advancing All Electric – part of a group show at Galerie Mark Mueller. 2016

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The Bridegroom’s Voice

Bon Voyage David Bowie

Polymath, bookworm, the only Rockstar I ever wanted to be.

Call Me Snake

Reverse Cinema

Falling in love – an intellectual experiment.

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The Library Curtain

Movements Towards Formation

Group show at Frontviews Temporary, Kunstquartier Bethanien, Berlin. 2015.

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Proof Of Heaven

Solo show at Gow Langsford Gallery, New Zealand. 2015.

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The Model World

Multi-media Installation at Te Uru Contemporary Gallery. 2015.

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Press Release Galerie Mark Mueller

Press release for a solo exhibition at Galerie Mark Mueller. 2014.

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Swell Pop-Up Book

An enchanting pop-up book full of Judy’s painted twists, twirls, swells and swirls.

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The Art of Hair

A collaboration between Judy Millar and Paul Serville for the 2014 Servilles Winter campaign.

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Cinema and Painting

The intersection of these two screen-based arts against the backdrop of modern culture.

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Essay by Rosemary Hawker.

In response to Judy Millars Be Do Be Do Be Do Solo exhibition at the IMA Brisbane. 2013.

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Red Red Orange

What first comes to mind here are ideas about how painting engages with the emotions.

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Do Be Do

Do Be Do Solo exhibition at Hamish Morrison Galerie, Berlin, Germany 25th October – 16th November 2013.    ...

Do Be Do Solo exhibition at Hamish Morrison Galerie, Berlin, Germany 25th October – 16th November ...

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Images for Images

Be Do Be Do Be Do

Solo exhibition at the Institute of Modern Art (IMA) Brisbane. 2013.

I Give You

Solo exhibition at Sullivan + Strumpf, Sydney, 2013.

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Comic Drop

Exaggerated enlargements of handmade gestures with vivid colour.

Frankfurter Kunstverein

“Contact” outlines a complex portrait of artistic production of the last forty years in Aoteaora/New Zealand.

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The Rainbow Loop Collectors Edition

This Collector´s Edition consists of 80 exemplars, each one comprising an original work.

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The Split Ferrymen

Commanding brushstrokes of thin paint are wiped, erased and manipulated across the picture plane.

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How do we distinguish between illusion and reality? How do we reconcile our physical and mental existence?

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Robert Leonard Interview

Robert Leonard talks to Judy Millar. The interview discusses her work in Personal Structures, Venice, 2010.

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Push, Pop, Stack

Solo exhibition Galerie Mark Mueller, Zurich, Switzerland

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Lucifer: Bring the Light!

Solo exhibition Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand  2011

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Judy is one of the more interesting characters on our art scene. Or, not on our art scene.

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Review: A Better Life

Große Leinwandbahnen, die mit Millars malerischen Zeichen bedruckt sind, fließen durch die Galerie.

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Colliding notions of space and time, Millar’s paintings are, in a sense, four-dimensional, distorting the typical temporal experience of art.

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Essay by Morgan Thomas for Art and Australia. Vol 47. Spring. 2009.

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Giraffe-Bottle-Gun

Photo gallery of Giraffe-Bottle-Gun from the 53rd Biennale di Venezia.

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Videos: La Biennale di Venezia 2009

Video collection of Giraffe-Bottle-Gun from the 53rd Venice Biennale.

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Upcoming Solo Exhibition

The View from Nowhere

 

Solo exhibition at Fold, London

13th September 2018 – 20th October 2018

FOLD is excited to present a solo exhibition of new painting by New Zealand born artist Judy Millar. The View From Nowhere (which will coincide with the Oceania exhibition at the Royal Academy) is not only Millar’s first show with the gallery, but also her first in London. Pale lilac, jade green, and a bruised blue resonate against yellow and incandescent orange in Judy Millar’s new paintings.

The colour palate is double-edged; reminding us of the moments when nature thrills us with sunsets, sunrises and deep blue lagoons but also recalling the colours of comic books and their depictions of outer space adventure and future doom. Millar, a fan of popular science, describes the activity of painting as a form of space travel. “I used to think painting was a way of thinking. Now I know it to be much more than that. It is the flash of big-brain meeting small-brain, of consciousness meeting thought or of consciousness meeting mind through the body. Of outer space and inner space colliding.”

In this new group of works form becomes the graph of activity. The appearance of “things” emerges from the web of painted lines and fields of colour. Things hard to name but fleetingly apparent establish a semi-believable pictorial space. These strangely spatial paintings exude an otherworldly luminosity, as if emitting light from a distant time and place.

As Millar applies then removes layers of paint from the surface of the works she seems to release energy as if an image has been held in matter and is now freed into visibility.

 

Studies in Place

Studies in Place: Works on Paper 1989 & 2017

 

Solo exhibition at the Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand

8th August 2018 – 1st September 2018

A solo exhibition of small works on paper from 1989 and 2017 to be held at Gow Langsford Gallery. The works from 1989 show Millar’s immediate response to the wild landscape of Auckland’s West Coast when she first moved there soon after leaving art school. The recent works track her newfound reflection on the importance of place; place not only considered as a location but more importantly as a set of determining circumstances.

“I seemed to spend the greater part of my early life searching for a place to look out at the world from. My favourite childhood game was a blanket draped over the family dining table providing a place in which I could secure myself. Hidden within the folds of fabric I could create a new realm that gave me the privacy I longed for.

Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own” later confirmed it for me. Every woman needed a space defined for her, by her.

What it was that pulled me to Auckland’s West Coast as a young person I’ll never be completely sure. But there I found the mental freedom I longed for – a freedom that let me define my own existence as if back in the blanket hut. The wild storms neutralised by own inner turmoil: an external and internal pressure meeting and rebalancing one with the other. The sound of wind in the trees and crashing against the house became a valve that allowed me to inhale and exhale more fully.

Then the visuals – the views from up high as if floating above the land. The colours that changed throughout the day reaching a new saturation as each day’s sun set. Overwhelming, yes. But life giving too and so as I began to work I found my body respond in new ways.

The first ‘coast works’ in their primary saturations have remained unseen by anyone else since the late 1980’s. They have been harshly edited over the years with many being burnt. Those remaining seem now to be a nucleus of thoughts and responses that have emerged decades later.

All these small works are the direct result of being in a place: a place that has become my intimate world. The trees and plants have grown with me, around me. The wind has screamed at me and I at it. From the garden I eat. The sea air has seasoned my lungs well. I have both arrived at and imagined a place.”

Catalogue – Studies in Place

Catalogue published to coincide with the exhibition

Studies in Place: Works on Paper 1989 & 2017

 

 Available from Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand

“The first ‘coast works’ in their primary saturations have remained unseen by anyone else since the late 1980s. They have been harshly edited over the years with many being burnt. Those remaining seem now to be a nucleus of thoughts and responses that have emerged decades later.”

The Waves

The Waves

A group exhibition lapping at the shores of heteronormative sanctity, curated by Kate Britton

Sullivan+Strumpf,  Sydney


18th August 2018 – 15th September 2018

The Waves borrows its title from Virginia Woolf’s novel of the same name, in which many voices unite in a single narrative. This exhibition likewise unites many voices to tell a single yet multivalent story. This story is about what happens in a white cube occupied by women and non-binary voices, and why we should be listening.

The Waves brings a diverse group of artists into a conversation about feminism, bodies, access to and occupation of space, collective action and gestures of intersectionality. In making their work, each of these artists chip away at the walls and barriers that are thrown up by patriarchal systems, biological determinism, trans-exclusionary feminism, colonialism – the list goes on.

The feminist project has been characterised by waves, a lapping at the shores of heteronormative sanctity. The works presented from these artists engage with different aspects of this project: political, social and labour-based action; reclamation and celebration of diverse bodies and identities; intersectionality; and an emergent collective anger – #metoo.

In bringing together work from Sullivan+Strumpf artists with invited artists, The Waves establishes new lines of sight between the work of diverse women and non-binary people.

Karen Black
Ohni Blu
Polly Borland
Barbara Cleveland
Christine Dean
Joanna Lamb
Lindy Lee
eX de Medici
Sanné Mestrom
Judy Millar
Dawn Ng
Thea Perkins
Katy B. Plummer
Justine Youssef & Leila El Rayes
Hiromi Tango
Angela Tiatia
Jemima Wyman 

Unpainting – Contemporary Abstraction

Unpainting – Contemporary Abstraction

Group Show at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

9th September 2017 – August 2018

Unconventional and experimental approaches to the age-old discipline of painting

Despite routine declarations of its decline, abstract painting is an urgent and vital mode of artmaking that seems to exist in a state of constant reinvention.

This exhibition surveys Art Gallery NSW’s rich holdings of contemporary abstraction, including artworks by Daniel Buren, Morris Louis, Judy Millar, Dona Nelson and Sigmar Polke among many others.

Unpainting brings our attention to the Gallery’s extraordinary holdings of abstract paintings, focusing on unconventional and experimental approaches to the medium from the 1960s to the present day.

Curator Nicholas Chambers’ introductory essay in the accompanying publication proposes six frameworks to consider the selected works – unpainting, unhinged, unmanned, untitled, unravelling, unending – which highlight an attitude of experimentation, unbound to convention and often underpinned by a restless desire to disrupt the standards of the day.

Three of the contributing artists – Dona Nelson, Christine Streuli and Jessica Stockholder – are also interviewed about their practices and their works in the exhibition.

Exhibiting Artists:
Mark Bradford, Daniel Buren, Ian Burn, N Dash, Angela De La Cruz, Mikala Dwyer, Dale Frank, Katharina Grosse, Wade Guyton, John Hoyland, Albert Irvin, Bob Law, Richard Long, Morris Louis, Judy Millar, Dona Nelson, Sigmar Polke, Mel Ramsden (Art & Language), Robert Rauschenberg, Ugo Rondinone, Josh Smith, Frank Stella, Jessica Stockholder, Christine Streuli, William Turnbull, Andy Warhol.

AGNSW Contributors:
Nicholas Chambers – Senior Curator
Lisa Catt – Assistant Curator of International Art.

Further reading.

My Body Pressed

My Body Pressed

Judy Millar solo exhibition, Sullivan + Strumpf, Sydney, Australia

6 April – 28 April 2018

The gestural and abstracted surfaces of Judy Millar’s art are both intensely physical and highly mediated structures, reflecting the paradox we face of inhabiting both corporeal and cognitive realms.

Millar, a distinguished and internationally acclaimed artist, employs the processes of erasure – wiping and scraping paint off the surface of the work – to create visceral canvases that invoke a sense of the body.

“Without our body we don’t exist, this to me is our experience of the world and this is what paintings can directly address.” – Judy Millar

Millar’s painterly practice also incorporates various printing techniques and digital reproduction, which allow her to push the possibilities of scale by enlarging and exaggerating the painted surface. Through exaggerations of scale, her expressive paintings saturate the viewer and become commanding expressions of embodiment.

Millar is one of New Zealand’s most internationally recognised artists. She represented New Zealand at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009 and exhibited again at the 54th Biennale in 2011.

Selected solo shows include Reverse Cinema, Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney (2015); Be Do Be Do Be Do, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2013); Comic Drop, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand (2012); and The Rainbow Loop, Museum Gegenstandsfreier Kunst, Ottendorf, Germany (2012).

Recent group exhibitions include Widersehen, Museum Gegenstandsfreier Kunst, Ottendorf, Germany (2013); Artists for Tichy – Tichy for Artists, Gask, Gallery of Central Bohemia, Czech Republic (2013); Partner Dance: Gifts from the Patrons, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand (2013); and Like, Casula Powerhouse, Sydney (2012). Millar has also been the recipient of numerous residencies, such as the Italian Government Scholarship for Postgraduate Study in Turin, Italy in 1991, Artist in Residence at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery in 2001, and more recently the ISCP residency New York in 2010. – Excerpt from Sullivan + Strumpf artist page.

About: Judy Millar

Judy Millar – One of New Zealand’s most daring and cerebral artists.

By Mary-Louise Browne.

Judy Millar is considered by many to be a formalist in that her work addresses itself to painting, the perceived problems of painting and issues surrounding the history of painting. At the same time, as she talks about the vitality and ‘eye-searing magic’ of painting, she brings to her work a theoretical and practical interest as to where she fits in the male-dominated tradition of painting as a woman artist in the 21st century. As one of New Zealand’s most internationally recognised artists, she makes explicit the engagement of her painting with the rest of the world.

Her work looks outwards rather than in, participating in a global conversation about the relationship that painting has with the real world it both seeks to represent and be a part of.

She works from within a conceptual painting framework, freely referencing painting’s modern developments and relishing in appropriating the expressiveness of gestural painting. Continuing to explore possibilities in the action-painting tradition, she uses gesture not as personal expression but as a basis of social exchange. A sense of performative drama and delight in the act of mark-making is evident in this painting. The physicality of the gesture in Millar’s work is reminiscent of that of Jackson Pollock and she regards the direct relationship of the body to the canvas as extremely important. Also, painting for Millar is fundamentally a process of unpainting; perversely, her artworks are unworked rather than worked up – she takes away as much as she adds. Utilising processes of erasure, wiping or scraping paint off the surface of the work, Millar assumes established sociological and cultural positions only to question and deconstruct their meanings. She challenges the viewer’s expectation of the ‘expressive gesture’ and of the effectiveness of painting as a contemporary means of communication.

The physicality of the gesture in Millar’s work is reminiscent of that of Jackson Pollock and she regards the direct relationship of the body to the canvas as extremely important.

She has said of her practice: “It’s ‘embodied painting’. Without our body we don’t exist, so that seems to me to be our experience of the world. And that is what painting can directly address”¹

Millar’s painting may be perceived as abstract but she has long been interested in the depiction of three-dimensional space and the sense of scale. She is willing to take the abstract out of abstraction and to infuse her paintings with a sense of three-dimensionality. Her distinctive brush strokes are overlaid with sweeps of paint that flow and halt and turn in all directions to create richly suggestive forms. The large, painted surface of this work has a rich luminosity; it catches the light and gleams. Untitled playfully presents itself with the grandeur of her vision: a bold exploration of the colours blue and purple suggesting monumentality and materiality. Millar is acutely aware of this dramatic effect, noting that: “The joy and charm of painting for me is the illusion and virtual space it sets up… a completely dismantled kind of shimmering, hovering one”². Mary-Louise Browne – 2018

¹ Millar is quoted by Virginia Were, Art News, Autumn 2009, prior to her participation in the 2009 Venice Biennale.  ² Millar is quoted by curator Justin Paton in I is she as you to me, 2003.

Review: by Andrew Paul Wood

Three Judy Millar Paintings

Review of Welcome to the Fluorescence
Solo exhibition at Nadene Milne Gallery, Christchurch. 2018.

 

A gesture cannot be regarded as the expression of an individual, as his [sic] creation (because no individual is capable of creating a fully original gesture, belonging to nobody else), nor can it even be regarded as that person’s instrument; on the contrary, it is gestures that use us as their instruments, as their bearers and incarnations.” – Milan Kundera, Immortality (1990)

Gesture’ and ‘gestural’ are vastly overused words in talking about abstract painting but remain unavoidable in talking about Judy Millar’s work. As Kundera intimates above, perhaps gestures perform us, rather than the other way around, memes proliferating like living things. Perhaps art is merely a long war to determine who is in charge. In Millar’s case, the resulting paintings are static and compressed records of the passage of time, modes of movement, the artist’s endurance, her physicality and physical limits—a record of metadata about the artist and the artistic act, its Benjaminian ‘aura of authenticity’. There is something profoundly human and humanist in this haecceity or ‘thisness’ of the artist, particularly the physical reality of the mark making in a world increasingly saturated with digital media.

This is very much evident in her show Welcome to the Fluorescence at Nadene Milne Gallery in Christchurch. There are just three big paintings in the main gallery space—and that is precisely enough in equilibrium with the space. The titles, Energy TrapWaves Without ShapeA World Not of Things, are cautiously non-committal, setting up the audience with ambiguous hints at quantum mechanics and Zen ontology and letting them get on with the business of interacting with the work. The paintings activate each other. A World Not of Things might almost be toying with Chinese scroll painting—the palette and confident, but contained, calligraphic line—or a slightly Rococo interpretation thereof. The human tendency to pareidolia, finding order and shape where there is none, invokes everything from tangled tree branches and roots, to the Vatican’s Laocoön, but really it’s all about mind-mapping emotional and physical energy flows in moments of time.

Energy’ however, sounds like New Age handwavium. There is the physical energy of movement, of course, but might be better to call it thumos (θυμός)—passion, spiritedness, the internal urge for recognition, righteous rage against the injustices of the world, that which motivates human beings to exist. Peter Sloterdijk in his 2006 Rage and Time suggests that a productive, resentment-free form of ‘rage’ (which he, perhaps incorrectly, equates with thumos) is the primary motivating force of human social development, which Christian morality and psychoanalysis have attempted to supress (some might also include the contemporary politics of social discourse). This leads us to Mannerism.

Millar consciously aligns herself with the Mannerists, that oft maligned tendency in art that bridges the High Renaissance and the Baroque. The style is characterised by affected exaggeration and unnatural elegance in pursuit of effect. The standard art-historical view of how Mannerism came about tends to be that the followers of Michelangelo copied his dramatic and individual innovations, and their students copied them, and the resulting transcription errors resulted in flourishing mutations like Parmigianino’scameleopardine Madonna with the Long Neck (1534-40), the porcelain complexions of Bronzino’s Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time (ca.1544-45), and Pontormo’s boneless, gravity-defying Depozisione (1528).

This is, in fact, not a subtle aspect of Millar’s work. The calculatedly optical effects of her palette and what looks like airbrushing declare open allegiance with the taffeta-like gradated colours of Pontormo’s draperies and garments. The open-ended, asymmetrical and complex Hans Hofmann-esque push-pull, and weaving in and out, of the bravura strokes—swept, painted and scraped back with a number of tools, including a plastic bag full of sand—conjure up impressions of the compositions of Parmigiano, Bronzino and El Greco as filtered through a century of transcendental abstraction.

An alternate interpretation of Mannerism, re-assessed against the political, intellectual and social crises of the twentieth century, was put forward by Italian critic and art historian Achille Bonito Oliva in his book The Ideology of the Traitor: Art, Manner and Mannerism, first published in 1979. Oliva reframes Mannerism as a subversive stylistic armour, tinged with hopeless melancholy, against the chaos of war and religious schism when it seemed the ideals of the Renaissance had failed and fallen. The artist, particularly the gay artist without benefit of the social transcendence of classical idealism, was identified as a traitor against their broader community, so why not make something of it? Bonito Olivia has elsewhere drawn parallels with postmodernism, and Susan Sontag intuited as much in her ‘Notes on Camp.’

While I wouldn’t call Millar’s work ‘camp’ per se, she observes that we live in “Mannerist times” (Trump, orange and coiffed, being la Maniera par excellence). The bravura gesture, the outrageous fluorescent palette, the occasional insouciant hand or footprint (Millar works on the ground) cock a snook at a Western civilisation apparently intent on self-immolating itself with as much dignity as it can muster. At the same time Millar very deliberately aligns herself with the grand tradition, albeit on her own terms—as something quite daring when that might be considered a liability in this sensitive age.

The antipole to Millar’s mannerism would be the Rococo—an equally fitting style for the present era, when the 1% squandered their wealth and resources on superficiality and frivolity, a style which also prioritises sinuous line and asymmetry. Even then the artists were getting their own back in silent protest—the wistful melancholy of Watteau, the brittle fragility of Fragonard—and if Millar ever ventures into a palette of silver, grey and faded rose, it would not shock me in the least. – Andrew Paul Wood.

Original article here.

Welcome To The Fluorescence

Welcome To The Fluorescence

Solo Exhibition at Nadene Milne Galleries, Christchurch and Arrowtown, New Zealand.

13 April – 4 May 2018

 

Essay by Nadene Milne

Much of Judy Millar’s work is rooted in a childhood hunch. The young Millar intuited an elusive ‘something’ concealed behind the facade of the material world – a somewhat precocious permeation of the regular monster in the closet complex, with a universe-sized closet and metaphysics lurking in lieu of a monster. Most kids get over this sort of thing, but the distinct sense of something beyond our senses mystifies and intrigues Millar to this day.

In tandem with this playful metaphysical paranoia, Millar has maintained a longstanding commitment to the process of painting. Her oeuvre looks less like a collection of thoughts and paintings than a montage of thinking and painting in action.

Within her practice, constant artistic experimentation and mystic inquisitiveness engage and invigorate each other, together forming the engine of her creative evolution.

Perpetually refining her approach to art making in open defiance of inertia, Millar’s lifetime of innovations and insights has lifted her practice beyond New Zealand’s borders and into the international sphere.

As one might expect from an artist investigating the ambiguous nature of experience, Millar eschews direct symbolism in favour of allusion and impression. Her paintings, unimpeded by figuration and singular notions of meaning, deploy a kind of psychedelic abstract-expressionism in service of philosophical and aesthetic play. Blank canvases are transformed by the application and erasure of paint into writhing gestural labyrinths of form, torsion and colour.

One is left with the singular impression that Piranesi has returned from the dead, imbibed illegal substances, and tried his hand at contemporary abstraction.

Digitised brush strokes loop impossibly, penetrating amorphous clouds of luminous colour; here space is treated like paper in the service of origami: flipped and folded, turned inside-out, played with. Our tacit acceptance of the solidity and reality of things is upended and the universe is delivered from our comprehension into mystery. It’s quite good fun. Her work, in a delicious contradiction, is ludic to the point of seriousness – navigating portentous philosophical and aesthetic territory in a bewitching state of frolic. One can’t help but detect the notes of her joy in these meditations on painterly process and metaphysics – a joy so often in absentia in the discourse on such topics.

These elements are conspicuous in a practice that operates in an increasingly diverse array of mediums. Whether she’s charming children with a pulley-operated, large-scale fold-up-book (replete with projected visuals), crashing immense waves of canvas against the rigid ornamentation of baroque church architecture or erecting monumental sculpture that tumbles from the heavens, Millar invokes the invisible subtext underlying the appearance of reality.

Oscillating between her off the grid residence in NZ and her home in the Metropolis of Berlin, she continues her investigations of appearance and reality, poking with her paintbrush, year after year, at the beguiling veil.

 

Review: My Body Pressed

Judy Millar: My Body Pressed

Review for Art Guide. April 6th, 2018.

Essay by Tracey Clement.

Painting is indexical; the marks on the canvas bear a direct relationship to the gestures of the artist. This is more overt in Pollock’s flung arcs of paint than in the minute daubings of a photorealist, but all paintings are a record of a body moving through space. The paintings in New Zealander Judy Millar’s solo show, My Body Pressed at Sullivan + Strumpf, have a particularly visceral quality.

In Millar’s new work, dark streaks writhe across washes of bruised blue and mauve.

Resembling tangled twists of muscle and tendons, Millar’s dynamic swathes of black seem to move at speed. “Like dance, painting is a direct record of the energy and feeling of a lived-in body,” says Millar, “and my work accentuates this.” Indeed, looking at her paintings is like witnessing the ghostly trace of the artist’s frenetic performance.

In this way, Millar’s abstract canvases are a kind of self-portraiture, but her work sidesteps objectification of the female body, a perennial trope in the Western canon. “Since the movements and actions of my body are stamped all over the canvas my work can be seen to be a picturing of the female body,” she explains. “But of course I’m not working with the body as an object. Rather I take the body as a process, something that can’t be contained. I want the work to be sexy in a fluid way.”

Millar’s title, My Body Pressed, expresses her concern that we are becoming disconnected from our bodies. “The increasingly mediated world we inhabit seems to be pulling our minds and bodies further apart all the time,” she says.

“I worry that our bodily world is disappearing, our bodily intelligence ignored. The title is a rallying cry to bodily communication: to the wonder of touch and sinew.”

Full article here.

Essay by Jodie Dalgleish.

The Sinew of Space

An essay by Jodie Dalgleish for Contemporary Hum on Judy Millar’s 2017 exhibition “Swallowed in Space” at Galerie Mark Mueller, Zurich.

The Sinew of Space

It’s frustrating to her, Judy Millar tells me from the West Coast of Auckland as we discuss her exhibition in Zurich, Swallowed in Space, that people are so rarely asking ‘what does painting do to us?’. An affective painting, after all, is something we want to go and see, and revisit, and make part of our wider experience. I wholeheartedly agree with her, especially after having just travelled to see her work (from my current home in Luxembourg) and encountering the way it not only activates space but also allows the kind of ‘space creation’ current in philosophy, cultural geography and advanced architectural research.

Engrossed in the exhibition’s spatial effect, I begin to realise that I am naturally embodying the paintings’ own quest for, and questioning of, modes of movement. Each painting is an intense material object based on movement, while it is also a container that circulates and throws me more broadly into an exploration of the space that emanates from it. ‘Space’ here, is a body-dwelt ‘imaginal’ field. It is the field projected from the body into a ‘spacious view’ of the ‘increasing inclusiveness’ of its expanding boundaries, as philosopher Edward Casey writes of place that has become more spacious in Western thought. In this kind of space, Casey writes, ‘expanding envelopments’ are all linked by the organic body and its history in the ‘fuller compass’ of what is happening, and at stake, in and from a particular place.

Essential to my experience, is the fact that each painting’s sinuous forms continue in striated bands that curve, twist, turn and loop seemingly without end. As I follow them, they always release their coiled directions onwards, even if only through a series of drips, a finger drag or the suggestion of an aspirating colour. They are not brushstrokes, but rather a skilfully indeterminate ‘caricature,’ or parody, of such a singular gesture. Their banding is almost collographic in nature: a result of the artist’s characteristic mark making that accumulates the positive and negative impressions of paint in the push and drag of objects across the painting’s surface. ‘I was trying to think of something like a very big fingertip,’ the artist tells me as she describes the way in which she slid differently-sized bags filled with sand through the paint. They allowed complex forms of movement, she explains, ‘and they have this particular feeling.’ For me, their form is fibrous, elemental and constant, like bands of tendon, muscle fibres, the phloem tissue of bark, and the cellulose cordage of plants. They seem to hold painting and movement together. – Excerpt from the article written by Jodie Dalgleish.

View original publication.

Leave The Doors And Windows Open

Leave The Doors And Windows Open

Solo exhibition at Robert Heald Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand.

January 25th – February 17th 2018

Photos courtesy of Robert Heald Gallery.

Swallowed In Space

Swallowed In Space

Solo exhibition at Galerie Mark Mueller, Zurich, Switzerland

26 October – December 2017

Blood red, jade green, and a bruising purple resonate against yellow and incandescent orange in Judy Millar’s new paintings.

The colour palate is double-edged: reminding us of the moments when nature thrills us with sunsets, sunrises and deep blue lagoons but also recalling the colours of comic books and their depictions of outer-space adventure and future doom.

Millar, a fan of popular science, describes the activity of painting as a form of space travel. When painting Millar experiences space and time merging. As the title of the show suggests, during this process she feels “swallowed in space”.

In this new group of works form becomes the graph of activity. The appearance of “things” emerges from the web of painted lines and fields of colour. Things hard to name but fleetingly apparent establish a semi-believable pictorial space. These strangely spatial paintings exude an otherworldly luminosity as if emitting light from a distant time and place. As Millar applies then removes layers of paint from the surface of the works she seems to release energy as if an image has been held in matter and is now freed into visibility.

Full exhibition history here.

Rock Drop

Rock Drop

A site-specific commission by Auckland Art Gallery.

July 2017 – July 2019.

In the South Atrium of the Auckland Art Gallery resides my latest major site-specific commission, Rock Drop 2017. Acquired by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki with the support of Auckland Sculpture Trust, Auckland Contemporary Arts Trust and Auckland Art Gallery Foundation’s 2016 annual appeal.

“This work plays with the complexity of the vibrant junction between the Victorian, neo-Classical and 21st century architecture of the building, Millar’s towering painterly installation responds to the dynamics of the space and appears to change and morph from different perspectives, provoking new and exciting experiences for Gallery visitors.” – Curator and Gallery Director, Rhana Devenport. 2017

Judy Millar Rock Drop 2017-2019

Judy Millar Rock Drop 2017-2019

Turning the World Inside Out

Turning the World Inside Out: 30 Years a Painter

Solo show at Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand.

30th August – 24th September 2016

Judy Millar Turning The World Inside Out 2016

Thoughts 29-06-16

I used to think painting was a way of thinking.

Now I know it to be much more than that.

It is the flash of big brain meeting small brain, of consciousness meeting thought, or of consciousness meeting mind through the body.

In Conversation with Kate Brettkelly-Chalmers.

A conversation with Judy Millar

Written by Kate Brettkelly-Chalmers for Ocula 
Auckland – 13 June 2016
Ocula Judy Millar 2016

Image: Judy Millar, Advancing All Electric, 2016. Installation view, Galerie Mark Müller, Zurich. Photo: Millar Studio. Courtesy the artist.

I have heard Schwitters’ formative installation Merzbau [the alteration of rooms in his family house into sculptural environments with elaborate angled surfaces] described as a ‘walk-in collage’ of different spatial and architectural features. Does this relate in someway to your own work?

Merzbau explored new spatial ideas in art, and my work also relates to new kinds of space, specifically combining elements of architecture, sculpture and painting. I am also interested in the idea of collage that Schwitters was using. Of course, he was collaging everyday material, and I am reassembling digital reproductions of my own painted images. The worthwhile thing about showing in Europe is that you get these very new takes on the work that you are doing—connections that wouldn’t be immediately made here, in New Zealand.

Ocula Judy Millar 2016

Image: Judy Millar, Untitled, 2016. Acrylic and oil on paper, 89 x 64 cm (incl frame). Courtesy of Bartley + Company Art.

Do you have a name for these sculptural installation works? They still involve painterly elements—more precisely, digital reproductions of your paintings—and I am reluctant to simply refer to them as ‘sculptures’.

They are called ‘space works’. In the studio we call them ‘props’ rather than sculptures. I would always bristle when the people I work with in the studio called them ‘sculptures’. So we came to the decision that we would call them props—I quite like the word.

The space works do seem to be ‘collaged’ in the way that different spatial planes are brought together. To me, they look like massive two-dimensional jigsaw pieces that have been assembled in interesting configurations.

Yes, they are a spatial collage in this respect, so this does fit quite well with the Merzbau concerns. On the surface of the structure, I am placing images of other forms that I’ve made in three-dimensions then photographed and had printed onto sticker paper. So the main space work has images of other spatial works hanging on its surface. These images really are like big stickers on the surface of the work. Each of these stickers is stuck to a piece of thin aluminium that is then gently curved in different directions. The difference with this new work is that the stickers, instead of being flat on the surface like previous works, curl away, gently lifting away from the form itself.

So it is quite a complex piece that involves both illusionistic curves and physical curves—real shadows and images containing shadows. If anything, these works are lampooning big heavy ‘male’ sculpture. It is a very gentle dig. These are stickers! It is everything that you shouldn’t do with a traditional sculpture: it’s illusionistic, it’s not real, it’s plywood made to look like cardboard, and it carries images on its surface.

Ocula Judy Millar 2016

Image: Judy Millar, Advancing All Electric, 2016. Installation view, Galerie Mark Müller, Zurich. Photo: Millar Studio. Courtesy the artist.

Do you often find yourself pushing back against certain traditions or stereotypes in art, such as the prototypical painting or sculpture?

I try and undo them because I want to understand them. My way of understanding something is to pull it apart. A good sculpture is about a form in the round that both alters and is altered by the space that surrounds it. But I am more interested in it existing as an image rather than a form. This recent spatial work is primarily made up of slotted planes—it is planar in the sense that it is really just an image surface that has become a little more complicated.

Ocula Judy Millar 2016

Image: Judy Millar, Untitled, 2016. Acrylic and oil on paper, 115.5 x 86 cm (incl frame). Courtesy of Bartley + Company Art.

Can you talk more about this relationship between space and painting in your work? You are testing the traditional idea of sculpture by introducing the imagistic flatness of painting. But it must be noted that, while we have been speaking about your space works, you also continue to make paintings that explore the basic fluidity of paint as a medium that can be made to sit on a flat surface in different ways.

Yes, an absolutely central interest of mine is how a painting alters its spatial environment. On one level, the painted works are a ‘finding out’ process that includes some really basic stuff about how colours interact and how the very fluid and incredible medium of paint functions. But I am painting these works flat on the floor and when I am doing this, I am trying to build an entire space. It is not that I am just thinking of a two-dimensional planar surface on the ground. It is as though I am trying to build a dome-like space above the canvas. I am in space; my movements are in space. So the painting is really about creating a form of space. It almost lands on that plane with the hope that, when I put the canvas upright, it is going to then come into the viewer’s space—that it is going to determine this space or influence it in someway.

While Schwitters might be a useful reference for your space works, I am venturing that some viewers might also think of Abstract Expressionism and Action Painting with respect to the gestural element involved in your paintings. Do you have any thoughts about this?

The word that always sets my teeth on edge is ‘gesture.’ Gesture seems like something that comes gushing out from deep inside you. That is not really what I am interested in. My work is much more about drawing; it is about looking and seeing, less about ‘expressing’. I’m using gesture only in the sense that a gesture can communicate something.

But Abstract Expressionism did produce some pretty amazing work and it also fell into a very big hole. I think there is something in there that is still worth exploring—that is still worth bringing forward. But like everything that is continually repeated, Action Painting became nothing but a mannerism. And I am very aware that I am referencing this form of painting in a ‘gone’ way. I am not really parodying it; rather I am referencing a ‘gone form’. It is a form that already stands for something. This continues to interest me greatly with painting. — Read original article here.

Tango Them Basel

Advancing All Electric

From group show Tango Them Basel at Galerie Mark Mueller, Zurich, Switzerland

11 June – 23 July 2016

More information about Advancing All Electric can be read in A conversation with Judy Millar, an essay written by Kate Brettkelly-Chalmers for Ocula.

The Bridegroom’s Voice

The Bridegroom’s Voice

Solo show at Bartley + Company, Wellington, New Zealand.

20 April – 7 May 2016

Bon Voyage David Bowie

Saluting David Bowie!

8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016

Polymath, bookworm, the only Rockstar I ever wanted to be.

Call Me Snake

New Intimacies: Call Me Snake

A sculptural commission for SCAPE 8. Christchurch.

30th October – 15th November 2015

Call Me Snake, a temporary sculpture commissioned as part of Christchurch’s Scape Public Art initiative, SCAPE 8.

Made from steel, plywood and digital print.

Millar is best known for her large-scale digitally printed and painted canvases, which loop and undulate through architectural spaces, exploring ideas of scale, and the compression of time and space. Her work for SCAPE 8 New Intimacies, Call me Snake, pushes these ideas beyond the enclosed architectural spaces she has previously worked with, into the Central Christchurch landscape.

Full article here.

Reverse Cinema

Reverse Cinema

Sullivan + Strumpf, Sydney, Australia.

29 May – 26 June 2015

 

Excerpt from i-D Interview.

In the past decade, acclaimed New Zealand artist Judy Millar‘s varied work has filled a German gallery with Technicolor tidal waves and unspooled wild brushstrokes across the walls of a Renaissance church for the 53rd Venice Biennale. Always a fan of an enveloping spectacle, her latest show Reverse Cinema at Sydney’s Sullivan + Strumpf draws on painting, sculpture, and light projections to create an installation that’s both soulful and cerebral. With the show involving her most audacious work yet, i-D chatted with the artist about her allergy to categories, falling in love as an intellectual experiment, and why she dreads public art.

Read the full article by Neha Kale for i-D. Or download here.

i-D Interview PDF download

The Library Curtain

Devonport Library Curtain Commission

In 2014 Judy Millar was commissioned to produce a 16 x 3-meter curtain for the new Devonport Library in Auckland.

The library designed by Athfield Architects Auckland opened in February 2015.

Movements Towards Formation

Movements Towards Formation

Group show at Frontviews Temporary, Kunstquartier Bethanien, Berlin.

30 April – 3 May 2015

Featuring artists: Elena Bajo, Stella Geppert, Judy Millar, Yorgos Sapountzis, Peter Welz and Michaela Zimmer.

Proof Of Heaven

Proof of Heaven – Paintings from Berlin

Solo show at Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand.

3rd March – 28th March 2015

In this exhibition, Millar exhibits a large group of paintings generated in her Berlin studio. Taking cues from the colours found in post-apocalyptic comics these works glow with an otherworldly light, mysterious and unsettlingly beautiful. Forms appear to emerge and disintegrate in an unstable world of things half-seen and impossible to recognise.

The Model World

The Model World

Installation at Te Uru Contemporary Gallery.

13th February – 1st April 2015

 

Judy Millar: The Model World

In the theatre world, models are miniature sets used to test the placement of images and objects in a specific space. Like a life-size model world, Judy Millar’s recent work combines a projected image, moving components, and painted and blank surfaces, which collectively could resemble an artist’s studio or an engineering workshop – both sites for production and experimentation or creativity through play. Visitors are encouraged to participate and occupy Millar’s constructed world by transforming flat-folded works into three-dimensional pop-ups and casting exaggerated shadows while moving through the gallery, making explicit the subjective and ambiguous relationships that influence our experience of paintings; between painting and space, image and form, the real world and its mediated imprint on a surface.

The Model World also extends on our new publication, Swell, a pop up book for children and the result of a collaboration between Judy Millar, writer Trish Gribben and paper engineer Phillip Fickling. Millar’s paintings were turned into twisting, swelling and heaving pop-ups that folded neatly between the pages. Here, paintings shift scale again to take on a larger-than-life presence as a further exploration of the degrees of separation in the painting process that playfully but persistently rejects the notion of a painting as a discrete, mimetic object that represents the world but is not subject to its forces.

Press Release Galerie Mark Mueller

Paintings

A solo show of  Judy Millar at Galerie Mark Mueller, Zurich, Switzerland.

11 October – 15 November 2014

Press Release by Pascal Marchev.

Judy Millar: Paintings

Nachdem Judy Millar in den vergangenen Jahren ihren Gestus auf unterschiedliche Weise zu analysieren und hinterfragen versuchte, indem sie eigene Bilder beispielsweise digital bis zur Verpixelung vergrösserte und mit Siebdruck in die Leinwand-Arbeiten miteinbezog, kehrt sie in ihrer 5. Einzelausstellung in der Galerie Mark Müller, wie der Ausstellungstitel bereits erahnen lässt, zurück zur Malerei in ihrer reinen Form.

Ihre Bewegungen, mit denen sie unter direktem Einsatz ihres Körpers die auf dem Boden liegenden Leinwände mit Farbe bedeckt und verwischt, werden durch eine symbiotische Verbindung von Körper und Geist geleitet, welche sich gegenseitig beeinflussen. Intuitiv setzt sie Bilder aus ihrem Innern in eine Malbewegung um. So sind ihre Arbeiten auch nur auf den ersten Blick fern jeglicher Gegenstandslosigkeit. Im Gegenteil, sie versucht bewusst die Wahrnehmung des Betrachters herauszufordern und geht dabei einer der grossen Fragen des Menschen nach: Ist die Welt, die ich erlebe dieselbe, die jemand anders erlebt? So spielen auch die Titel der mittelformatigen Leinwandarbeiten „Flicker Rate“ auf die Theorie an, dass sich die Welt zu jedem Moment in verschiedenen Zuständen befindet, ähnlich wie Schrödingers Katze zugleich lebendig wie auch tot ist. Wir als Betrachter nehmen durch ein ständiges Flimmern jedoch nur eine einzelne Realität wahr.

Mit unserer Wahrnehmung spielt auch die formale Zusammenstellung der Arbeiten, welche alle in diesem Jahr entstanden. In farblich zusammengehörigen Gruppen gehängt, innerhalb derer jedoch Grösse und Medium variiert, werden die Grenzen zwischen den einzelnen Arbeiten aufgelöst. Es scheint, als betrachte man dasselbe Bild in unterschiedlichen Zoom-Stufen. Man wird eingesaugt und wieder abgestossen von den fraktal-artigen Formen, die so typisch sind für Millars Technik. Das was sie also mit dem digitalen Aufblasen ihrer Malerei vor zwei Jahren untersuchte, zeigt sich auf eine Art in den jetzigen Arbeiten erneut. Im Vergleich zu der zweidimensional wirkenden Siebdruck-Schicht, lassen uns jedoch die aktuellen Gemälde ein ganzes Universum entdecken, in welchem man als Betrachter in immer tiefer liegende Schichten eintaucht. Ein Universum, eingefroren in einem bestimmten Moment, erzeugt dabei einen spannungsgeladenen Widerspruch zu dem so dynamischen und zeitlich andauernden Malprozess, der jede Arbeit in der Entstehung voneinander trennt und eine direkte Verbindung ausschliesst.

Die Hängung innerhalb der beiden Räume der Galerie Mark Müller führt dieses „in and out“ – dieses Eintauchen von einer Arbeit in die nächste – noch weiter indem die erstaunlicherweise kleinste Leinwandarbeit wie ein Portal die zwei Räume verbindet. Sie lässt den Betrachter mühelos von einem Raum in den nächsten springen. Ein Wurmloch von einem Punkt des Universums zu einem anderen.

Essay download.

Swell Pop-Up Book

Swell

Pop-Up Book for children featuring the work of Judy Millar.

Published in December 2014.

Published by Te Uru Contemporary Gallery Waitakere (formerly Lopdell House), Titirangi, Auckland, New Zealand. Swell is an artwork for children that is a pop-up art book.

An enchanting pop-up book full of Judy’s painted twists, twirls, swells and swirls. Possibly the first artwork /art-book in many children’s lives. A paper engineering masterpiece, Swell is a collaboration between writer Trish Gribben, paper engineer Phillip Fickling, and painter Judy Millar.

Gribben and Millar presented the book at the Auckland Writers Festival on May 17, 2015. The book was officially launched on the 5th December 2014.

Press relating to the publication: Christchurch Art Gallery  |  Stuff.co.nz  |  YouTube  |  Gow Langsford

Available fromGood Reads  |  Wheelers  |  Te Uru Waitakere  |  Scape Public Art

 

The Art of Hair

The Art of Hair

Servilles 2014 Winter campaign

The Art of Hair is a celebration of the history between two friends, Paul Serville and Judy Millar, combined their creativity for the 2014 Servilles Winter campaign. A sneak peek video of what went on behind the scenes can be viewed here.

Check out Servilles site for an exclusive interview with the creative duo, or immerse yourself in what was a fabulous campaign celebrating The Art of Hair.

Cinema and Painting

Space Work 7 – Cinema and Painting

Adam Art Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand.

11 February – 11 May 2014

 

Space Work 7’s Cinema & Painting examines the intersection of these two screen-based arts against the backdrop of a culture characterized by the increasing plasticity of pictorial surfaces and flexibility of spaces of viewing.

Turning to artists, both contemporary and historical, who engage the relation between the screen and the space that projects from it, the exhibition mapped the genealogy and continuing life of a Modernist tradition of depth.

Space Work 7 – wood, paint and digital print

Over three thematic suites, this exhibition’s volumetric cinemas and paintings that spill off the wall offer exemplars of a strain of aesthetic practice in which the interrogation of a haptic surface accompanies a commitment to the formal complexity of images.

By addressing the materiality of projective space—that physical zone beyond the picture plane activated by the body of the spectator in conjunction with the beam of the projector or the intricacies of painted forms—Cinema & Painting examines the interconnection of these arts not only in pictorial but in explicitly phenomenological terms.

With Jim Davis, Oskar Fischinger, William Fox, Hollis Frampton, Ken Jacobs, Lumière Company, Len Lye, Colin McCahon, Anthony McCall, Judy Millar, Matt Saunders, Phil Solomon, Diana Thater.

Public Program is available for download here.

Exhibition catalogue can be purchased here.

Content with thanks to Adam Art Gallery, Wellington.

Essay by Rosemary Hawker.

Be Do Be Do Be Do

Judy Millar’s solo exhibition at the Institute of Modern Art (IMA) Brisbane.

8th June – 27th July 2013.

Every time I make a painting I’m dragging the whole history of painting with me. — Judy Millar

Judy Millar: Be Do Be Do Be Do

Auckland painter Judy Millar has been making ever bigger paintings. A few years back, she surprised and confounded her audience by enlarging her painterly gestures using a billboard printer—it seemed heretical. Was this painting proper or something else? In Be Do Be Do Be Do, she goes the other way, hand-painting monstrously enlarged half-tone dots on ribbons of bendy-ply, which are contorted into complex curves, creating a play between the Arp-like biomorphism of the painted imagery and the Serra-like architecture of the scrolling wood. One curly painting, sitting on its edge, barricades a gallery; one, mounted to the wall, is all fleshly folds and love handles; another hangs from the ceiling from a harness, unfurling, flaccid, across the floor, revealing its pink underside. Rosemary Hawker reads Millar’s project through Susan Stewart’s interest in the play between the miniature (the world within the world) and the gigantic (the world without world).

Rosemary Hawker publication by IMA Brisbane, Australia. Available here.

 

Red Red Orange

Red Red Orange

Solo exhibition at Bartley + Company, Wellington, New Zealand.

5th February – 1st March 2014.

The second solo exhibition of Judys work in the gallery. The title drawing attention to the role of colour in Millar’s work; hot, strong, joyful, fiery, wild colour.

Judy Millar 2013

Much has been written about the Millar gesture – its bold, expansive, assured form swirling across her chosen surface whether canvas, paper or vinyl or, as we have seen most notably in her Venice Biennale exhibitions in 2009 and 2011, taking painting off the wall and into sculptural form out into space and the world. However here in this exhibition of three large and one smaller painting, paint remains contained and the place of colour in her work is foregrounded.

It is this colour that we respond to emotionally or sensually in the first instance before the intellect steps up and engages, drawing us in to Millar’s underlying project – a sustained investigation of the issues and challenges of painting and its place today’s visual economy today.

Rather than the issues of representation and the tension between two and three-dimensional space that have more often been discussed in relation to Millar’s work, what first comes to mind here are ideas about how painting engages with the emotions.

Again history provides the springboard with Kandinsky and his colour theories and Rothko and the colour field painters of the mid 20th century providing the starting point to let us think both about how art makes us feel personally and how it operates in a way that is quite different to its antecedents.

Formal purity is not a concern of this 21st century abstraction, what is more relevant is a kind of subversive questioning of possibility and progress.

Do Be Do

Do Be Do

Solo exhibition at Hamish Morrison Galerie, Berlin, Germany

25th October – 16th November 2013.

 

 

Images for Images

Images for Images;
Artists for Tichy – Tichy for Artists

GASK, Gallery of Central Bohemia, Czech Republic

7th April – 31st July 2013

Be Do Be Do Be Do

Be Do Be Do Be Do

Solo exhibition at the Institute of Modern Art (IMA) Brisbane.

8th June – 27th July 2013.

Judy Millar 2013

I Give You

I Give You The End Of A Golden Thread

Sullivan + Strumpf, Sydney, Australia

11th May – 8th June, 2013

Excerpt from Art Collector

I Give You The End of A Golden Thread will be Judy Millar’s second solo exhibition in Australia. In it, Millar succeeds in creating an experience of painting through which both hers and the viewer’s world is directly addressed via a perpetual motion of ideas which inform the work. In both this body of work and in her upcoming solo at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane in June, Millar has moved away from the academic and conceptual to create a highly personal exhibition.

Comic Drop

Comic Drop

Solo exhibition at Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand

February 2013.

Comic Drop an exhibition of new works by gallery artist Judy Millar. Millar is one of New Zealand’s most exciting contemporary painters who shares her time between a remote property in West Auckland and inner city Berlin – where her career continues to gain momentum.

Comic Drop brings together a series of new works that combine exaggerated enlargements of handmade gestures with vivid colour. In these works Millar continues to takes on the history of expressive painting and turn it inside out.

Judy Millar Comic Drop 2013

Recent career highlights include two exhibitions at the Venice Biennale representing New Zealand with her solo exhibition Giraffe-Bottle-Gun 2009; and in Time, Space, Existence a curated exhibition at Pallazo Bembo in 2011. Her work is about to be featured in a large exhibition of star international art in the Czech Republic and an upcoming solo exhibition at IMA Brisbane, Australia.

Frankfurter Kunstverein

Contact: Artists from Aotearoa/New Zealand

Frankfurter Kunstverein, Germany 2012

Excerpt from Frankfurter Kunstverein

The term “contact” refers to the network of relationships between the two dominant ethnicities in bi-cultural Aotearoa/New Zealand: the indigenous population of Māori and the white settlers, “Pakeha”. Video works by Lisa Reihana, for example, deal with themes of cultural oppression, the search for cultural identity, and the struggle for self-determination.

New technologies and old myths are intertwined in works by Rachael Rakena, while Francis Upritchard creates new, hybrid forms based on historical objects. Issues related to the complexity of multicultural society in the scope of a powerful influx of immigrants from the Polynesian islands, as well as the fate of a life in exile, are reflected in the photographs of Edith Amituanai. “Contact” not only presented works that artistically address socio-cultural conflicts in today’s Aotearoa/New Zealand, but also ones of a more poetic nature, like works by Dane Mitchell or site-specific installations by John Ward-Knox.

“Contact” outlines a complex portrait of artistic production of the last forty years in Aoteaora/New Zealand. Here works are not used to illustrate a single thematic point, rather the aim is to create a multifaceted perspective of a highly active and heterogeneous artistic scene within the context of a contemporary dialogue.

The title of the exhibition is expanded conceptually to include the artistic methods and processes of painters like Judy Miller, who, alongside Francis Upritchard, represented New Zealand at the Venice Biennale in 2009, or Simon Ingram, who employs a programmatic approach devoid of subjective intervention in his “Automata Paintings”.

Curators: Leonhard Emmerling, Aaron Kreisler

Judy Millar 2012

Read full article.

The Rainbow Loop Collectors Edition

The Rainbow Loop

Limited Edition Catalogue

Published by Kerber Verlag, Germany 2012

Rainbow Loop Collectors Edition

This Collector´s Edition consists of 80 exemplars, each one comprising an original work (acrylic on paper, 29.7 x 41.7 cm) by the artist and a fanfold publication, The Rainbow Loop.

Judy Millar’s works are distinguished by an intensive exploration of informal painting and Abstract Expressionism. The edition of original works is the result of individual, rolling processes that question interior and exterior, beginning and end. Each work of art is unique.

Available for Purchase.

Judy Millar 2012

 Judy Millar 2012

The Split Ferrymen

The Split Ferrymen

Solo Show at Sullivan + Strumpf, Sydney, Australia.

1st May – 25th May 2012

Excerpt from Spectrum, May 5-6th 2012. 

Commanding brushstrokes of thin paint are wiped, erased and manipulated across the picture plane to create the distinctive interwoven complexity of line in Judy Millar’s work. The artist then blows up the image digitally, silkscreen prints it and paints over with metallic, shimmering colour.

This is the first show in Australia in a decade for the New Zealand artist, who represented her country at the 2009 Venice Biennale.

 

 

 

The Rainbow Loop

The Rainbow Loop

Solo exhibition at the Museum gegenstandsfreier Kunst, Otterndorf, Germany

April 14th – June 14th, 2012.

In The Rainbow Loop, Judy Millar shows an individual work that describes a lurching process of a single painterly image, its digital reproduction, its expansion and elevation in space.

This gives rise to a work inside and outside and early as the end of one questions it dances and rolls through the exhibition space, it changes our perception and invites us to experience a temporary twisted world.

It questions how we reconcile our physical and mental existence, how we distinguish between illusion and reality, and how we form a connection from the myriad of our fragmentary perceptions.

Original publication.

Robert Leonard Interview

Robert Leonard talks to Judy Millar

The interview discusses her work in Personal Structures, Venice 2011

Judy Millar 2011

Judy Millar: For this exhibition, I’ve been given a small room with two beautiful windows, which open out onto a canal. I’m making a twosided painting that forms a big springy strip. The room is about 6m long but the painting is 20m long. Since the painting is too big for the space, there’ll be a tussle. The painting will be forced to lift itself up into the air, go out of the window, and come back in. It’ll double back on itself and loop around. It’ll be delicate but cumbersome, a physical gesture in real space but also a bearer of illusionistic painterly space.

Robert Leonard: You’ve been blowing up “the brushstroke” for a while now.

JM: It started with Giraffe-Bottle-Gun, my 2009 Venice Biennale show. I made small paintings, then enlarged the imagery to ten times the size. I used a billboard printer—an advertising tool—to do it. I wanted the work to advertise itself. I wanted to amplify everything.

RL: But the new work is painted, right?

JM: The orange bits are painted but the black bits are printed. Both have been up-scaled, but to different degrees and in different ways. I’ve been developing big brushes with multiple heads so that I can make giant gestures. I’m trying to find a bigger dimension for myself.

RL: With the up-scaling and the use of printing, are you trying to denature or dehumanise the brushstroke?

JM: I’m not trying to dehumanise it, if anything I’m trying to rehuman ise it. I’m trying to give it more authority. Despite the absurd scale, you still read the work through your body.

RL: In this work, your painterly marks piggyback on a support that is itself akin to a painterly mark–a flourish.

JM: Exactly, it’s gesture in real space that carries other gestures on its surface. The illusionistic surface distorts your sense of the real physical form, and vice versa. By manipulating the support structure itself, I’m dismantling the usual image/support hierarchy.

RL: I’m reminded of the plastic toy-car track that I had as a child. I would bend it into curves and loops and send my cars careering down it. Your support will operate as a track for vision.

JM: The eye is forced to follow the track. I can control the eye; slow it down on the curves and speed it up on the flat. Space will turn into time, and time into space. What was behind will suddenly be in front, edges will become lines and lines will become edges— everything will be turned inside-out.

RL: Because they are so antithetical, I was reminded of Lynda Benglis’s paint pours from the late 1960s. She let paint fall from the can onto the floor, whereas your piece is perky, springy, alert. It isn’t paintdoing- what-comes-naturally.

JM: I’ve never been one of those materialists who think paint is more interesting in the can. For me, painting is not about paint, or even about paint on a support. For me, it is about structures: illusionistic structures, logical structures, worldly structures, all sorts of structures. I’m not interested in paint simply as a material.

RL: So why paint?

JM: I stay interested in painting: it’s a way of collapsing the separation of the mental and the bodily that I experience in so many other parts of life.

RL: So, you’re affirming rather than critiquing painting.

JM: I’m questioning and hopeful. I’m asking what can painting still say, and hopeful that it can still say something.

 

_

Robert Leonard is Director of the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

 

Push, Pop, Stack

Push, Pop, Stack

Galerie Mark Mueller, Zurich, Swizerland

2011

 

Judy Millar 2011

Judy Millar 2011

Judy Millar 2011

Lucifer: Bring the Light!

Lucifer: Bring the Light!

Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand 2011

Too Much Personality

A Day in New York with Judy Millar

From Gemma Gracewood’s blog Too Much Personality.

New York, 2010

Judy Millar at Moma

Image from uploadvr.com

Excerpt by Gemma Gracewood about a day spent with Judy.

Judy Millar’s MoMA artist’s pass is looking battered. “I’ve been at least twenty times since I got here,” she admits as we enter New York’s Museum of Modern Art. She pays for me – “I got my studio deposit back today. I feel rich.”

Judy is one of the more interesting characters on our art scene. Or, not on our art scene. She flies under the radar by living way out west of Auckland, yet she exhibits all over the world and keeps a studio in Berlin.

One of New Zealand’s foremost painters, Judy was one of our gals at the 2009 Venice Biennale. (For NZ folk, her Giraffe-Bottle-Gun work has been remounted at Te Papa for a spell.) I worked with her on the wonderfully bonkers TV series New Artland. In it, she guided a group of teenagers towards making an audaciously messy group painting, then turned into a giant billboard using a digital process similar to the one she went on to make her Venice work with.

Full document.

Review: A Better Life

Judy Millar “A Better Life”

Review of solo exhibition at Hamish Morrison Galerie, Berlin, Germany

1st May – 4th June 2010.

 

Written for Monopol Magazine, Germany

Die Hamish Morrison Galerie freut sich, eine Ausstellung mit neuen Arbeiten von Judy Millar zu präsentieren. Die Ausstellung mit dem Titel A Better Life/Ein Besseres Leben ist Millars erste Einzelausstellung in Berlin seit ihrer großen Installation in der Kirche La Maddalena auf der Venedig Biennale 2009.

Für ihre raumgreifende Installation in La Maddalena benutzte Judy Millar riesige, mit stark vergrößerten Gesten der Künstlerin bedruckte Leinwände, die sich durch den Raum wanden und sich in ihm entfalteten; das Betrachten wurde für den Besucher zu einem kinematografischen Erlebnis, da das vollständige Erfassen der Installation nur durch das Umrunden der Leinwände, also durch Integrieren der Elemente Zeit und Bewegung, möglich war.

Für die aktuelle Ausstellung nimmt sich Judy Millar einer ‘white cube’ Galerie an; einem Raum, der völlig anders ist als eine barocke Kirche, der aber genauso mit malerischer Vergangenheit aufgeladen ist, und der sich genauso stark verwandelt durch ihre gewagte Installation.

Lange Leinwand-Bahnen, bedruckt mit Millars malerischen Zeichen, fließen durch den Raum der Galerie wie kollabierte Plakatwände, sie liegen gestapelt aufeinander, winden und rollen sich über sich selbst. Millars Gesten, auf der Leinwand zehnfach vergrößert, enthüllen einige wichtige, intime Details ihrer Arbeitsweise, aber sie haben auch einen grafischen, Comic-artigen, gar komischen Charakter. Sie werden zu eigenständigen Objekten mit einem Eigenleben, abgetrennt von der Künstlerin, die sie erschaffen hat. Wie Jennifer Gross schreibt: ‘durch das Vergrößern und Reproduzieren der manuellen Geste, wird der tatsächliche Malprozess der Künstlerin herauskristallisiert und übertragen.’ Gross beschreibt die bedruckten Leinwände weiter als ‘großräumige Nachwirkungen der Atelierarbeit.’

Das folgende Zitat von Judy Millar sagt viel über ihre Herangehensweise aus: ‘Als ich gestern mit dem Taxi durch die Stadt fuhr sah ich ein Bild, das sehr gut mit der Arbeit, die ich für die Ausstellung gemacht habe, korrespondiert. Eine Shampoo Werbung auf einem mehrstöckigen Hochhaus zeigte Haare, die in Locken die Fassade herunter und um die Ecke des Gebäudes fielen. Die Locken erhielten Volumen und Kontur durch die Form des Gebäudes und lösten gleichzeitig dessen Umrisse auf. Auf die gleiche Art und Weise transportieren die langen, Bänder-artigen Bahnen in der Ausstellung die übertriebenen malerischen Gesten, heben sie in und durch den Raum, während sie gleichzeitig durch die auf die Oberfläche gedruckten Bilder deformiert werden. Weitere Verzerrungen entstehen dadurch, dass der Betrachter das Bild nie von einer einzigen frontalen Perspektive erfassen kann, sondern sich entlang der Arbeit bewegen und sie in der Bewegung rekonstruieren muss.

Es ist diese Interaktion zwischen den malerischen Spuren der Künstlerin selbst – und deren Vergrößerung – und den realen Dingen der Welt – einschließlich der Betrachter – die Millars Arbeit jenseits eines vereinfachenden Diskurses über Malerei und Installationskunst ansiedelt. Stattdessen überschreitet sie die Linie zwischen bildlicher Fiktion, bildlicher Realität und realen Dingen im Raum. Durch diese Praxis beschäftigt sie sich mit einem fundamentalen Thema, das weit über Abstraktion hinweg bis in die Renaissance zurückreicht – namentlich in die Diskussion über die paradoxe Beziehung, die die Malerei mit der Welt hat, die sie einerseits versucht abzubilden und von der sie andererseits ein Teil sein will.

Judy Millar A Better Life 2010

Millars Installation ist deshalb nicht nur ein Objekt, das wir schweigsam betrachten sollen. Fordernd, spielerisch und manchmal ganz und gar konfrontativ, zerrt und schubst sie uns durch den Raum und eröffnet uns Möglichkeiten neuer Entdeckungen und Erfahrungen. Dadurch birgt sie das Versprechen auf ein ‘besseres Leben’ in sich; einen Optimismus im Hinblick auf die Art und Weise, wie wir die Welt um uns herum erfahren, und die wichtige und menschliche Rolle, die die Kunst in dieser Welt spielt.

Judy Millar lebt und arbeitet in Berlin und Auckland. Sie nimmt gerade an einem dreimonatigen Atelierstipendium des ISCP in New York teil. 2009 vertrat sie Neuseeland auf der Venedig Biennale. Folgende Einzelausstellungen fanden in jüngster Zeit statt: Matte Black in der Galerie Mark Müller, Zürich; Butter for the Fish bei Gow Langsford, Auckland und The Secret Life of Paint in der Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

Judy Millar war 1994 Moet & Chandon Stipendiatin in Frankreich, 2002 gewann sie den Wallace Art Award. 2006 erhielt sie das Colin McCahon Atelierstipendium, das in jenem Jahr zum ersten Mal verliehen wurde. Weitere Stipendien erhielt sie von der Dunedin Public Art Gallery sowie dem Goethe Institut, Berlin. Eine umfassend Monographie über ihre Arbeit mit dem Titel You You, Me Me, erschien 2009 im Kerber Verlag.”
(Pressetext: Hamish Morrison Galerie)

Read originalartikel.Große Leinwandbahnen, die mit Millars malerischen Zeichen bedruckt sind, fließen durch die Galerie.

A Better Life

A Better Life

Solo exhibition Hamish Morrison Galerie, Berlin, Germany

1st May 2010 – 4th June 2010

New Zealand artist Judy Millar, who lives in Auckland and Berlin, is exhibiting at the Hamish Morrison Galerie in the German capital, her first solo show  entitled ‘A Better Life’  since her major installation in La Maddalena at the 29 Venice Biennale.

Large lengths of canvas printed with Millar’s painterly marks flow through the confines of the gallery like collapsed billboard advertisements, lying piled up and curling over themselves. Millar explains: “Yesterday while travelling through the city by cab I saw an image that corresponds closely to the piece I’ve made for the show. A shampoo advertisement of a many-storied high head had hair falling in curls down a building’s facade and around the building’s corner. The curls gained volume and contour from the building’s form while at the same time deconstructing the building’s outline.”

Millar is currently completing a three-month residency at the ISCP programme in New York. ‘A Better Life’ runs through June 5 2010.

Judy Millar A Better Life 2010

Excerpt from Artsy

Judy Millar’s large-scale gestural paintings defy dimensions and seek to interrupt and invade the spaces they occupy. A signature of her practice is the creation of long, looping paintings that appear to pour out from the wall, forming large coils in the gallery space.

Colliding notions of space and time, Millar’s paintings are, in a sense, four-dimensional, distorting the typical temporal experience of art.

Whether in these tumbling paintings or her more conventional, flat canvases, Millar’s brushwork is gestural, her palette consisting of stark black and vibrant colours. She views the paint itself as an occupying a plane of its own: paintings are illusions and ideas, the canvas merely a physical support.

Judy Millar A Better Life 2010

 

Essay by Morgan Thomas

Morgan Thomas on Judy Millar

Essay for Art and Australia. Vol 47

Spring – 2009. 

By Morgan Thomas.
Publication Archive.

 

Giraffe-Bottle-Gun

Giraffe-Bottle-Gun

New Zealand Pavilion, 53rd Biennale di Venezia.

Italy, 2009.

Videos: La Biennale di Venezia 2009

Giraffe-Bottle-Gun

NZ Pavilion, 53rd Biennale di Venezia, 2009, Venice, Italy.

Resurrecting the work for Te Papa Tongarewa  in New Zealand.