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About the artist

Joan Miller
Photo credit: Wendy Miller

Joan Miller’s work radiates the confidence of a painter who has spent decades mastering her craft and developing a singular voice, and she speaks as eloquently (and elegantly) on a smaller scale as she does in her larger canvases. Miller’s is a language that will be familiar to anyone who has studied the history of American and European Modernism, the dominant strain of aesthetic discourse for much of the last century. There are echoes here of Henri Matisse, Joan Miró and Arshile Gorky, especially in a painting like Windrift (2006), which hums with Gorky’s warm tones, or In Living Color #7 (2009), where the careful disposition of shape and color recall Matisse’s vibrant still lifes and scenes of Morocco. Miller’s high-keyed color may also reflect her travels to far-flung places and the hues of the folk art she collects, while her shapes conjure with the plant life that formed the recognizable subjects of semi-abstract compositions from earlier in her career.

It comes as no surprise to learn that Miller’s mother, Rita Leff, was an accomplished Abstract Expressionist, but as a student Miller herself went through a rigorous academic training — at Philadelphia’s Tyler School of Art


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