Judy Millar

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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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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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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Turning the World Inside Out

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

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

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 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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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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Red Red Orange

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

Read more

The Split Ferryman

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

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

 

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

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

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 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

 

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.

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.

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