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About the artist

and the Brooklyn Museum Art School, among others — and came by her approach through years of searching on her own. The artist has worked in many different mediums, including collage, ceramics, and printmaking, and she brings to each a somewhat different sensibility. Collage calls up a certain Surrealist impulse, for instance. But it is in painting that she seems at her most inventive and even playful.

Though she has long been comfortable with abstraction, the many pentimenti in Miller’s canvases — areas that have been rethought, repainted, and reconfigured — give a glimpse into her process. These swirls of color and line, which initially appear to be spontaneous improvisations akin to the melodic riffs of jazz musicians, are built more carefully than may be evident at first glance. What starts out as an impulsive drawing in charcoal, perhaps just a few graceful arabesques, gradually grows and takes on substance, but not without frequent reassessments on the part of the artist. An approach of this sort, which combines immediacy with deliberation, allows the viewer access to the creative act and slows down the eye to enjoy more fully the development of Miller’s imagery. And though many of her paintings are modest in size, they pack a powerful visual punch and are proof that hallowed traditions can remain alive and thriving when carried on by gifted heirs.
—Ann Landi, ARTnews

Joan Miller B&W
Joan Miller in her college days

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