Login

Adam Miller

At the age of 16 Adam Miller left his hometown of Portland, Oregon to study painting and drawing at the Florence Academy of Art. After seeing images of Michelangelo’s Sistine ceiling in a book three years before, Italy had been on Miller’s mind, beckoning him towards his future. In Florence he joined a rising generation of young artists seeking to study and practice classical realism as exemplified by the works of the Old Masters of the European tradition.

Studying in Italy was a bold and risky move on Miller’s part, especially since the conventional wisdom was — and still is — that the study of traditional methods can at best lead to a limited career painting society portraits and glossy racehorse pictures. Still, the choice was Miller’s alone and it was a decision made out of passion, not practicality. His choices may have looked rebellious from the outside, but they were aligned perfectly with his inner necessities.

Now, in his mid-thirties, Miller’s art has bloomed into something remarkable, unexpected and deeply personal. Miller is creating images that feel genuinely American but which are also deeply rooted in the long lineage of Western art. His theatrical and carefully staged paintings explore a heavy theme — the end of the American Empire — but do so with images that can only be described as beautiful.

Miller’s characters, including his fauns, huntresses, rifle-toting hicks, and fair-haired children are all endowed with a remarkable sense of grace and are lovingly limned and colored. In fact, they are all — to some degree or another — impossibly beautiful. Part of what Miller has borrowed from his Italian and Hellenistic predecessors is the freedom to take striking expressive liberties with the human figure. The elbows and knees of Miller’s nudes may look perfect, but they flow into limbs and figures that are in fact challengingly mannerist. The bodies that appear in Miller’s paintings aren’t a bit “real,” and aren’t meant to be.

Miller’s depictions of the nude — both male and female — are ambitiously conceived vehicles designed to carry the artist’s complex narratives. They are also there to add erotic charges to each canvas and to serve as human elements that embody the anti-authoritarian ethos of Miller’s 21st century Humanism. Sir Kenneth Clark, writing in “The Nude: A Study in Ideal Form” makes the following observation about what Michelangelo did to the tradition of the nude figure in art:

“Michelangelo’s intensely personal use of the nude altered its character. He changed it from a mean of embodying ideas to a means of expressing emotions.”

Miller — like Michelangelo — has little to no interest in realism, but his interest in the human figure as a vehicle for emotions is intense. To put it another way, Miller understands how the external appearance of a nude is capable of taking viewers deep inside and to provide access to universal emotional and archetypal connections.

Miller’s settings — sylvan glades, glowering cityscapes, and toxic waste dumps — are there for to suggest themes and to serve as tonal backdrops. The glowing skies full of pheasants, falcons, owls and ducks are there to add to the sense of theater and also as a metaphor for the flight of the imagination. With his remarkable instincts for visual emphasis, distortion, and tone Miller has a talent for making people accept images that are in fact conceived as inherently false: “If you take people into darkness and towards the universal,” he believes, “they will come along for the ride.”

More than any other American painter I can think of, Adam Miller is re-defining the narrative possibilities of representational painting: he is creating a complete new world that contains a powerful and poignant mythological charge. Honestly, the idea that an American painter has found a way to channel the emotionalism of Michelangelo’s figures into an American context, and do it with so much confidence and imagination is mind-bending.

So are his paintings.

– John Seed

CV

SHOWS AND COMMISSIONS

2015 RJD Gallery Sag Harbor, NY
2014 Evoke Contemporary
2013 Vered Contemporary collectors choice 

2013 East Hampton NY

2013 Scope Miami, Copro Gallery

2013 6×9, National Arts Club, New York, NY

2013 Beyond Eden, Los Angeles Municipal Gallery, Hollywood , CA

2013 20th Anniversary Show, Copro Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2013 Messin With the Master, Mesa Contemporary Museum, Mesa, AZ

2013 Art MRKT Hamptons, Vered Gallery, Bridge Hampton, NY
2013: Art on the Edge, Vered Gallery, East Hampton, NY
2013: Far From Utopia, Solo Show, National Arts Club, New York, NY
2013: Nocturnes, National Arts Club
2012: Winter Show, Galerie L’Oeil du Prince, Paris, France

2012: Converge, 25 CPW Gallery, New York, NY
2012: Among the Ruins, Solo Show, Copro Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
2011: Dark Water, Copro Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2011: Spring Show, Falcon Art Community, Portland, OR
2011: Introducing, Slag Gallery, New York, NY
2010: Chelsea Art Museum, Young Associates Show, New York, NY
2010: Mighty Tanaka Presents: Elegant Discord, Brooklyn, NY

2010: Mosquito Hawk Gallery, Solo Show, Shelter Island, NY

2010: Art Hamptons, Gitana Rosa Gallery, Bridge Hampton, NY

2010: AAF Art Fair, New York, NY

2010: Verge Art Fair, Mighty Tanaka Presents, New York, NY

2010: Gitana Rosa Gallery, Hung Show,Brooklyn, NY
2010: Grand Prize, Artist’s Magazine, All media competition
2010: Corpus Hermeticum, at The Great Nude Invitational, New York, NY

2010: C2 Gallery, Patchogue, NY
2009: Hybridism, Mighty Tanaka Presents, New York, NY

2009: Carnival, Gitana Rosa Gallery, New York, NY

2009: One man show, Gallery Molinar, Tiburon, CA

2009: One man show, The Art Bar, Tiburon, CA
2009: Best of Show, Le Nouveau Baroque, Galerie Joelle, Paris, France

2009: The Metamorphosis Project, Art Space, Richmond, VA

2008: Best of Show, Singular Creation, Portrait Show

2008: TNC Gallery, Lower East Side Arts Festival, New York, NY
2008: Paradise Lost, WAH Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2008: Richeson 75 Figure Portrait Catalog
2008: Bushwick Open Studios , Brooklyn, NY
2008: Art On the Block, Nascent Art, New York, NY
2007: Blue Dot Award, ASLNY Show, New York NY
2007: Small works, Garza Design Studio, Brooklyn, NY

2007: Buschwick Open Studios, Brooklyn, NY
2006: Buschwick Open Studios, Brooklyn, NY

2006: Galleie Icosahedron, New York, NY
2006: Commission, Hill Devine Studio, Portland, OR

2006: Commission, Roger Pollock, Lake Oswego, Or
2006: Commission, Richard Hubbard, Honolulu, HI

2006: Commission, Hotel deluxe, Portland, OR

2005: Commission, Robert Pamplin Jr, Lake Oswego, Or
2005: Best of Show, Lake Oswego Festival of Arts, Lake Oswego, OR

2005: Zado Gallery, Portland, OR
2001: Commission, Mike Tyson, Las Vegas, NV

PRESS AND PUBLICATION

High Fructose 2011,12
Wall Street Journal 2010
East Hampton Star 2010

Fine Art Connoisseur 2010
Artist’s Magazine 2010
American Artist Magazine 2010,11,12

American Art Collector 2009
Informed Collector 2008

Brooklyn Eagle 2008
Lake Oswego Gaurdian 2004

Close

Available Works

Sold Works

Login

Search for an Artist or Artwork by Category

Artist
Style
Medium
Price
Size

High Tide & Night Watch Diptych – Limited Edition Signed Print

10 x 20 in, 25.4 x 50.8cm

PURCHASE

Night Watch – Limited Edition Signed Print

10 x 10 in, 25.4 x 25.4cm

PURCHASE

High Tide – Limited Edition Signed Print

10 x 10 in, 25.4 x 25.4cm

PURCHASE

Scavengers

26" x 14" / 66 x 35.6cm
Oil on Canvas

Icelander

30" x 24" / 76.2 x 61cm
Oil on Canvas

Whiskey 2

23.5" x 16.5" / 59.7 x 41.9cm
Acrylic on Wood Panel

Rollie 2

23.5" x 33" / 59.7 x 83.8cm
Acrylic on Wood Panel

Everything Will Be Beautiful

43" x 43" / 109.2 x 109.2cm
Oil on Canvas

Lonely

14" x 14" / 35.6 x 35.6cm
Oil on Canvas

Sunday

24" x 24" / 61 x 61cm
Oil on Canvas

The White Gloves

16" x 16" / 40.6 x 40.6cm
Oil on Wood Panel

Studio Boots No. 2

20" x 16" / 50.8 x 40.6cm
Oil on Canvas Covered Panel

Drive

16" x 20" / 40.6 x 50.8cm
Oil on Canvas Covered Panel

Inflated

12" x 9" / 30.5 x 22.9cm
Oil on Linen over Aluminum Panel

Green Light

18" x 18" / 45.7 x 45.7cm
Oil on Canvas

Golden Locomotive

16" x 20" / 40.6 x 50.8cm
Oil on Aluminum

Metro Card 1 and Metro Card 2

10.75" x 13.625" / 27.3 x 34.6cm
Oil on Plastic Metro Card

Dawning

15" x 19" / 38.1 x 48.3cm

Coronation

13.5" x 17" / 34.3 x 43.2cm

Study for Diaspora

14" x 18.25" / 35.6 x 46.4cm
Oil on Panel

Borana Beauty

19" x 23" / 48.3 x 58.4cm
Oil on Wood Panel and Fabric

Flesh Thrown II

15.625" x 11.75" / 39.7 x 29.8cm
Oil on Canvas

Birds of a Dream Disorder

20" x 16" / 50.8 x 40.6cm
Oil on Canvas

By You Possessed

20" x 16" / 50.8 x 40.6cm
Oil on Canvas

First and Last

52" x 70" / 132.1 x 177.8cm
Oil on Canvas

Against the Grain

48" x 42" / 121.9 x 106.7cm
Oil on Canvas

Celestial Dreamer

36" x 48" / 91.4 x 121.9cm
Oil on Canvas

Star Gazer

48" x 36" / 121.9 x 91.4cm
Oil on Canvas

Warrior Jack

40" x 30" / 101.6 x 76.2cm
Oil on Canvas

Account Login

Don’t have an acount? Sign up now.