John Miller underscores the decadence and hollow promise of our present “gilded age” by replacing his signature excremental brown impasto with glimmering gold leaf. But Miller is gilding actual junk and using fake gold leaf in his wall reliefs and standing sculptures for his exhibition “The New Honeymooners,” presented in two parts at Metro Pictures and Friedrich Petzel Gallery (535 West 22nd Street).
In Metro’s upstairs gallery, Miller installs a group of sculptures made from the lowest of materials, trash and junky plastic objects piled atop discarded wood tables, painstakingly camouflaged with gold leaf. Referencing the debased and the glorified, the gallery walls are papered in brown and gold. At Petzel Gallery, Miller inverts the display of his symbolic color combination and presents gold wall reliefs with a dark rug on the floor.
John Miller lives and works in Berlin and New York where he teaches at Columbia University. One-person shows include the Center for Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Kunstverien, Hamburg; DAAD Galerie, Berlin; PS1, New York; and Magasin-Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble, France. His work was included in the Whitney Biennials in 1985 and 1991 and he has exhibited regularly at Metro Pictures since 1984.