Brenda Miller

Whitney Museum of American Art

Ordination or counting has characterized Brenda Miller’s sculpture for the last six years. Her earlier work was conceived in two parts—first, as a diagram or drawing, then the work was executed on the wall. Rope or sisal was cut in lengths corresponding to the numbers in the diagram and resembled a shag rug of thick and thin densities as the varying lengths of rope overlapped. Eventually she discovered that she no longer needed the sensual three-dimensionality of sisal spilling into space. She realized that her work had two major concerns: literal density and the process of making.

In 1973 she turned to the alphabet, one of the most complex, limited systems available. She chose commercial rubber stamps in a Roman typeface with their evocation of old-fashioned printing because of their linear qualities. She says, “I wanted to see what would happen if I used all these marks—a circle, a curve,

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