New York

Melissa Miller

Holly Solomon Gallery

Melissa Miller deals with camp by transcendentally ignoring its territorial claims and invoking the eminent domain of the true believer. Her paintings often use colors from the campy side of the neo-expressionist spectrum, and her subject matter is often close to that of Paint-By-Number favorites, but her intensity and daring make these similarities purely incidental. Her paintings are beyond campiness of any degree (unconscious, conscious, self-conscious, conscious-unconscious). She dares to be decorative, but not at the expense of her mystical energy and the ferocity of her decorum.

Miller’s is a strange style, maybe equidistant between Van Gogh and Maxfield Parrish. The force of her colors makes one realize that clichés were once original, that over-repetition of an image is the wake of its efficacy. In The Swamp, 1983, Miller redeems a color combination and a theme that are beyond ruin.

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the October 1984 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.