New York

Melissa Miller

Holly Solomon

In Melissa Miller’s apocalyptic allegories, animals articulate psychic states, existential problems, and, more obliquely, environmental issues. At times death triumphs as in Broken Wing, 1986, in which the fate of a white bird is sealed by its threatening surroundings. In the beautifully painted New Skin, 1988, a vital tiger, as yellow as the sun, emerges from the dark body of a doomed deer—an extraordinary image of spontaneous metamorphosis. Again and again we see the same conflict of life and death forces set in an ominous, haunted, fairy-tale landscape, the morbidity and ecstasy reminiscent, at times, of Bosch. For Miller, catastrophe is the rule, in the midst of which hope makes a dubious, fragile appearance. The pathos of this condition is reflected in the beautiful red roses, already losing their petals, that pour from the mouth of the airborne creature (a hybrid of horse and bird)

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