Judy Millar

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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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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Turning the World Inside Out

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

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

Call Me Snake

Reverse Cinema

Falling in love – an intellectual experiment.

Read more

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 by Pascal Marchev.

This essay is in German. It was written 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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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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The Split Ferryman

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

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A Better Life

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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Review: A Better Life

Large lengths of canvas printed with Millar’s painterly marks flow through the confines of the gallery.

Read more

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.

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 2016Judy Millar Turning The World Inside Out 2016

Judy Millar Turning the World Inside Out 2016

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

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

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 by Pascal Marchev.

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

 

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.

 

 

The Split Ferryman

The Split Ferryman

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.

 

 

 

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.

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

 

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.

Judy Millar  2010

Aus der Ausstellung Judy Millar “A Better Life”, courtesy Hamish Morrison Galerie, Berlin.

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

Aus der Ausstellung Judy Millar “A Better Life”, courtesy Hamish Morrison Galerie, Berlin.

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)

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