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Garry Fabian Miller, Year One, Samionios, Single E, October 2005

Garry Fabian Miller: Illuminations

December 21, 2019 - January 20, 2020

Photography’s capacity to record light has captivated the world since the medium began to take shape in the early 19th century. Aside from its acceptance and spread as a mass medium, its first visual iterations, as a product of science and art, established a signature aesthetic that fascinated future artists with the expressive and transcendent potentials of the medium. Garry Fabian Miller, one of the most notable figures at the forefront of non-figurative contemporary photography, records light directly onto photo-sensitive paper to create vivid, chromatic atmospheres that seem to emanate inward light without the use of a camera. His pictures explore the artist’s relationship to the landscape, as he connects with the optics of the world’s natural phenomena. Garry Fabian Miller’s experience of being in the environment and creating work from it, captures the essence of light and organic shapes, creating studies in visual harmony that originate in nature. Fabian Miller’s photographs communicate feelings and the idea of contemplation through the balancing of light and form.

“Samuel F.B. Morse observed that a photograph could not be called a copy, but was a portion of nature itself. That notion, which persisted throughout the nineteenth century, found new life in late twentieth-century language theory, in which the photograph was characterized as an imprint or transfer of the real, like a fingerprint.” – Marry Warner Marien

Since the mid-1980s, British artist Garry Fabian Miller uses his home of Dartmoor as inspiration, an ancient moorland in southern Devon, famous for being the birthplace of many myths and legends of English folklore. His photographic process, rooted in the early days of the medium, is a visual response to the artist’s interaction with nature. Through daily meditative walks into the landscape, Fabian Miller is inspired by nature’s lingering visual impressions, using this as a reference to create calculated exposures, lasting from thirty seconds to twenty hours, charged with painterly craftsmanship. Not unlike Van Gogh’s swirling light energy of the night sky, Fabian Miller effectively paints with light, mapping out its direction through cut-paper shapes and sketching studies created for the effect of desired shapes and forms before exposure. In Fabian Miller’s aesthetic, the use of geometric shapes like the circle and the square symbolize the symbiotic duality of the human mind and the natural environment; the circle represents nature while the square represents thought.

For decades, Fabian Miller’s evolution as a photographer has been a beautiful, comprehensive path towards abstraction, similiar to Mondrian’s minimalism in painting. The work undergoes a long, sublime transition from landscape to camera-less photography that uses the century old exposure methods of photography from its earliest days. In effect, Fabian Miller recalls the sentiment of wonder and fascination of early photography, creating work that strongly reacts to energy as well as to its viewer. His work is equivalent to painting with light.

“As I walked myself into the landscape, it became an experience of the skyspace, the changing weather systems, the deep-thinking space, and that is how I think the work evolved from a kind of narrative, figurative based practice around trees and plants and nature into an abstract sky, light space.”

Within a historical context, Garry Fabian Miller’s work has a direct connection with concepts familiar to early modern English history, that of the complex interaction between magical, religious, and scientific belief. Although the work contains an array of minimalist forms, hues, and shapes, it is inherent to the past; to a preindustrial society intrinsically connected to agriculture and the cosmos, to the land and the changing patterns of nature. Garry Fabian Miller produces a visual testament to that which escapes simple explanation; to the experiences of meditation, spirituality, and enlightenment.

Details

Start: December 21
End: January 20, 2020

Past Exhibitions

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November 2018

01
November
Thursday

 

Seeing Spaces: Four Photographers Viewing Architecture

November 1, 2018December 8, 2018

    Beginning over a century ago, pioneers of photography began to examine and represent architecture as an idea and rich subject, creating a niche in the field of photography that explores the profound relationships we have to our three-dimensional surroundings, structures we dwell and work in, as well as spaces developed for cultural use. Seeing Spaces profiles the work of four contemporary photographers who treat various aspects of architecture to investigate atmosphere, memory, and narrative. These artists expand photography’s…

December 2018

15
December
Saturday

 

The Modern Eye

December 15, 2018January 16, 2019

The development of Modernism in the arts parallels the rise of the modern industrial society. Photography is finding a mature voice and the quasi-painterly influence of Pictorialism that set its foundations have been set aside in favor of a more dynamic, sharp focus composition with hard lines, repetitive forms and creative camera angles. The contents of photographs, as well as their strength to comment on contemporary society, give them a richer and multi-dimensional voice in the development of the visual…

January 2019

19
January
Saturday

 

Michael Eastman

January 19February 23

Michael Eastman’s evocative photographs capture architectural interiors and facades throughout the world’s fabled epicenters of culture; Havana, Milan, Buenos Aires, Lisbon. As profiles of various structures, the pictures also showcase the ravages of time amidst their grandeur, presenting profiles loyal to all of the organic imperfections caused by the passage of time and use. Michael Eastman’s photography emphasizes, through painterly technique, a sense of quiet admiration, and unapologetic sincerity, the human stages for political, social, and cultural interaction and the…

March 2019

09
March
Saturday

 

David Yarrow: Off Road & After Hours

March 9April 20

Renowned photographer David Yarrow, infamous for his dramatic, immersive images, continues to push himself to create challenging and consequential pictures. As a totally integral part of his photographic process, David Yarrow hunts for his momentous photographs through meticulous research and preparation for a shoot. Figuring out how to surmount physical and logistical challenges, he works to either construct or find special pictures, and although weeks or months may have been necessary to create a picture, he works relentlessly to find…

April 2019

27
April
Saturday

 

Fashion Forward

April 27August 31

JL Modern Gallery’s exhibition, “Fashion Forward” is an abbreviated survey of fashion-based photography created over the last 60 years. With the advent of commercially viable fashion and lifestyle magazines, such as Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Elle, and Le Jardin des Modes, to name a few, the upper middle class and the wealthy had a visual resource that helped broadcast and popularize fashion as an upper-class distinction and privilege. These international magazines starting in the 1930s employed a group of talented photographers…