Lost Back, Acrylic on canvas, voile, © 2013 Mark Takamichi Miller, Courtesy of the artist

Lost Back, Acrylic on canvas, voile, © 2013 Mark Takamichi Miller, Courtesy of the artist

Mark Takamichi Miller
Lost
March 7 – 29, 2013
Opening: First Thursday, March 7, 6 PM – 8 PM

Gallery4Culture is pleased to host Seattle artist Mark Takamichi Miller in a solo exhibition titled, Lost. The show is a continuation of Miller’s ongoing (fifteen year) series of paintings whose serendipitous subjects are fragmented narratives appropriated from found disposable cameras and strangers’ undeveloped film.

The paintings in Miller’s most current body of work are based on photos shot in the back quarters of a covered pickup truck. Curiously framed snippets of passing landscape leave us to speculate that these haphazardly composed pictures are likely the product of kids on a family vacation. The images were found on a disposable camera uncovered in the bushes by Mark Takamichi Miller.

Formal challenges inevitably present themselves in the found film, offering Mark Takamichi Miller a springboard for experimentation. His solutions often include the use of unique materials. In Lost, expressing the effects of the intense variations of inside/outside light (blinding brightness of the landscape juxtaposed with the dark interiors of the vehicle) inspired Miller to superimposed two separate paintings over each other. The underlying painting is on canvas; the overlying image is painted on voile, a white (or black) transparent fabric. Interestingly, under the gallery lights, the white areas of the voile are less transparent than the darkened areas, causing the white areas to appear “washed out”.

Historically, painters have developed a myriad of conventions for conveying the effect of light which is beyond the medium’s ability to depict. Miller is troubled by these formulaic practices (usually Western in origin), aimed at influencing the viewer’s perception of what is “real”.  By using contrasting areas of fabric to imitate the blinding optical effect of a sunlit scene, Miller’s intent is to offer another solution in this ongoing dialogue. He states, “I am adding this idea to the long chain of possibilities and propose exhibiting the results at Gallery4Culture.”

About the artist
Mark Takamichi Miller earned his undergraduate degree at the University of California at Santa Cruz and his MFA in painting at the University of Iowa. In 1992 and 1993 he was a Fellow at the prestigious MacDowell Colony in rural New Hampshire. In 2001 Miller was honored locally with the “Neddy” in painting from the Behnke Foundation. He has exhibited his work nationally and his paintings are in many prestigious private and public collections. Until its closing in 2010, Miller exhibited regularly at Howard House Gallery in Seattle. Active over the past decades as an art educator as well as studio artist, Mark Takamichi Miller founded the Miller School of Art in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle in 2010.