JUDY MILLAR: THE SPLIT FERRYMAN
Millar’s visceral canvases enact a sense of the body. This physicality is represented through the processes of erasure, wiping and scraping paint off the surface of the work to create her 'embodied paintings’. As she 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.”
Since 2008, Millar has sought to extend these painterly gestures by incorporating various printing techniques into her practice. The use of such printing technologies, often associated with advertising, allows her to pull and push the possibilities of scale by enlarging and exaggerating the painted surface. By transposing into her work the authority that the advertising image has in its ability to saturate the viewer, her practice through form and scale becomes a complete expression of embodiment.
Millar’s 2009 Venice Biennale solo show took this process of exaggeration to a pinnacle as the extreme structures were entirely digitally printed. By translating her painterly surfaces into digital structures she was able to investigate scale and its possibilities - thereby moving across the constrained human scale into the limitless scale of our imagination.
Millar continues to explore these possibilities by using direct painting, screen-printing and digital reproduction. Her work is a process of overlaying images: a layering of painting, printing, over-painting and over-printing.
Throughout Millar’s practice she strives to discover new meaning in her gestural forms. Millar challenges painterly traditions, as she describes she is “acting-out of action painting”, in turn making painting a contemporary and politically relevant medium that becomes a means to define and examine the real world.
Judy Millar, born 1957, graduated with a Masters on Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland, New Zealand in 1983. She represented New Zealand at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009 and exhibited again at the 54th Biennale in 2011. Solo shows in 2012 include The Split Ferryman at Sullivan + Strumpf and The Regenbogen Loop at Museum Gegenstandsfreier Kunst, Ottendorf, Germany. 2012 also sees Millar taking part in Artists for Tichy – Tichy for Artists at the Gallery of Central Bohemia, Czech Republic. Working between Auckland and Berlin she has exhibited extensively in New Zealand, Europe and the USA. In 2011 Millar's solo exhibitions included; Push, Pop, Stack! Mark Mueller Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland; Lucifer: Bring the Light!, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand; Into the Belly of the Whale, Bartley and Company Art, Wellington, New Zealand. Also in 2011 she was included in a number of international group exhibitions; Abstract Overture, Bochenska Gallery, Warsaw, Poland; Personal Structures, Time-Space- Existence, La Biennale di Venezia, Palazzo Bembo, Venice, Italy; Rohkunstbau XVIII, Schloss Marquardt, Potsdam, Berlin, Germany; Treffpunkt, Hamish Morrison Galerie, Berlin, Germany; Pushers, Waikato University, Hamilton, New Zealand; Paintings Paintings, Window, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand; Accrochage, Galerie Mark Mueller, Zurich, Switzerland. Throughout her career Millar has been the recipient of numerous residencies, including the Italian Government Scholarship for Postgraduate Study in Turin, Italy in 1991. Other residencies include Goethe Institute, Berlin in 2002; Artist in Residence at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery in 2001, and more recently the ISCP residency New York in 2010. Collections include Auckland Art Gallery, Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand, Christchurch Art Gallery, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Kunstmuseum St Gallen, CAP Art, Dublin. Judy Millar is also represented in numerous international private collections.