Harland Miller

Whilst studying for an ‘A Level’ in the History of Lettering, Miller remembers discovering the allure of mediaeval manuscripts, in which monks laboured to produce a distinctively decorated letter at the beginning of each chapter. This process has since become the inspiration or starting point for his series of ‘Letter Paintings’. The Pop Art sensibility of ‘blowing things up’ that Miller brings to illuminated manuscripts creates a sense or echo of the sacred with the everyday, conveying his ability to conjure moments of pathos in popular language. Adopting the lay-out of book covers, they present overlaid letter forms as their image. At the bottom of each, a neutral band of colour displays a ‘title’, in the form of an enigmatic word alongside Miller’s own name as their ‘author’. Unlike previous works these paintings use just one single word to create meaning, with bold, saturated colours that reference, amongst others, Robert Rauschenberg and Ed Ruscha’s use of vernacular signage and motifs. Miller depicts the letters in a range of typefaces, through a process of isolating, overlaying and reconnecting, to offer a sense of depth in the image that deconstructs and abstracts the meaning of language itself.

Harland Miller

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