Judy Millar

The gestural and abstracted surfaces of Judy Millar’s art are both intensely physical and highly mediated structures, reflecting the paradox we face of inhabiting both corporeal and cognitive realms. Millar, a distinguished and internationally acclaimed artist, employs the processes of erasure – wiping and scraping paint off the surface of the work – to create visceral canvases that invoke a sense of the body. As the artist explains, “Without our body we don’t exist, this to me is our experience of the world and this is what paintings can directly address.” Millar’s painterly practice also incorporates various printing techniques and digital reproduction, which allow her to push the possibilities of scale by enlarging and exaggerating the painted surface. Through exaggerations of scale, her expressive paintings saturate the viewer and become commanding expressions of embodiment.

Millar is one of New Zealand’s most internationally recognised artists. She represented New Zealand at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009 and exhibited again at the 54th Biennale in 2011. Selected solo shows include Reverse Cinema, Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney (2015); Be Do Be Do Be Do, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2013); Comic Drop, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand (2012); and The Rainbow Loop, Museum Gegenstandsfreier Kunst, Ottendorf, Germany (2012). Recent group exhibitions include Widersehen, Museum Gegenstandsfreier Kunst, Ottendorf, Germany (2013); Artists for Tichy – Tichy for Artists, Gask, Gallery of Central Bohemia, Czech Republic (2013); Partner Dance: Gifts from the Patrons, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand (2013); and Like, Casula Powerhouse, Sydney (2012). Millar has also been the recipient of numerous residencies, such as the Italian Government Scholarship for Postgraduate Study in Turin, Italy in 1991, Artist in Residence at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery in 2001, and more recently the ISCP residency New York in 2010. 

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