CHART presents Anthony Miler' 'There Are More Good People Than We Know'

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CHART presents Anthony Miler' 'There Are More Good People Than We Know'
Anthony Miler (b. 1982), Not Titled, 2022. Acrylic, gouache, and graphite on woven cotton paper, 18 1/2 x 27 3/4 inches (47 x 70.5 cm) framed: 27 1/4 x 36 1/2 inches (69.2 x 92.7 cm) © The Artist.

NEW YORK, NY.- CHART is presenting There Are More Good People Than We Know, an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by Anthony Miler. The exhibition features nine new paintings in the main gallery, with a selection of over twenty works on paper from the past five years of Miler’s practice installed on the gallery’s lower level. The exhibition remains on view through August 19th.

In Anthony Miler’s newest paintings, a decade-plus artistic evolution arrives at the present amalgamation of past materials and formal stylings. Featuring curving, organic forms set amid colorfully stained backdrops, the paintings on view offer a more meditative and pared-down experience than previous works. At first glance, they could be seen as simple landscapes, with bird-like forms dashing across their surfaces, often offset by an otherworldly orb, perhaps a sun or moon. Upon closer examination, however, the biomorphic nature of the subjects begins to fracture — what was first construed as a head or a wing subtly dissolves, and an eye reverts to a simple glyph, a stark symbol waiting to be recast by our imaginations.

Miler’s earlier work focused heavily on an interplay of graphite lines — thickets of sweeping, gestural marks coalesced into amorphous faces and scenes. Now, the graphite mark-making has returned, albeit in a finer, more controlled manner, dictated, in small part, by the material Miler uses. Incorporating cross-hatching and other delicate line work to shade his abstracted forms, the artist uses the warp of the tightly woven canvas to direct the line, implicating the materials in their own act of transformation.

Despite Miler’s turn to more meticulous mark-making, especially in the detailing of the “eyes” that populate his canvases, it remains difficult to refer to Miler’s paintings as exactly representational. In Miler’s work, the singular, cyclopic eye operates as a hinge between the worlds of figuration and abstraction. The symbol serves as the minimal possible gesture necessary to break the spell of total abstraction, while also resisting any further formal readings or turns toward pareidolia. The viewer is left vacillating between the two genres, constantly reevaluating their relative ratios.

The installation on the gallery’s lower level reveals Miler’s expansive work-on-paper practice that has developed concurrently with his painterly one. Ranging from earlier, more pictographic graphite drawings to recent, hard-edged matte paintings, the multiple series on view provide a glimpse into the artist’s multifaceted engagement with a variety of artistic influences. Colors, shapes, and symbols leap off the page, each creating a wondrously dynamic and arresting scene, while also demonstrating the artist’s interest in working through new compositional challenges.

Associations abound, from Arthur Dove’s abstract landscapes to more surrealist arrangements reminiscent of Joan Miró or William Baziotes. Paul Cézanne is repeatedly brought to mind, as Miler returns again and again to foundational influences in a keen and apparent effort to fuse elements of naturalism and abstraction. In fact, “natural” might be the best way to understand the evolution of Miler’s ever-expanding oeuvre. Imaginatively incorporating the materials at hand, the artist is fueled by a desire for perpetual metamorphosis; and in engaging the interpretive involvement of the viewer, he connects us in this open-ended transformational process.

Born in 1982 and currently based in Brooklyn, New York, Anthony Miler received his MFA from The City College of New York, CUNY in 2008. Miler’s recent solo exhibitions include Witness, The Pit (Los Angeles, CA, 2021); 05, PM/AM (London, 2020); The Sun Sets On Us All, MASAHIRO MAKI GALLERY (Tokyo, 2019). He has also participated in numerous group exhibitions in New York, Denmark, France, and the U.K.

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