Untitled (church), 2017

by John Miller

Painting : C-print 62.6 x 41.7 inch


One of the last works available by this artist

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Unique work


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Painting: C-print

Dimensions cm inch

62.6 x 41.7 inch Height x Width x Depth


Not framed



Urban Landscape

Everyday life






Artwork sold in perfect condition

Origin: France

In this body of work, Miller presents five silkscreen paintings, ten coffee mugs, and a digital slide show, all of which refer to how people inhabit public spaces. He has drawn inspiration from Michel de Certeau’s essay « Walking in the City » from his acclaimed book, The Practice of Everyday Life, published in 1980. The silkscreen paintings derive from drawings that Miller made based on photographs he has shot in different locations such as Warsaw, Munich and Palma de Mallorca.

Put simply, these are sketches of ordinary scenarios that one might find in many cities. The values in these paintings are very close so as to suggest mirages, hallucinations or after-images. The center of the space will feature an arrangement of coffee cups. For these Miller photographed commuters from overhead at the new PATH train station at the World Trade Center and had these printed on the cups. He chose this site for formal reasons: the floor of the station is white and thus clearly offsets the commuters as individual figures. Because he shot these images in rapid succession, one finds many of the same figures in different configurations from cup to cup.

In the third part of the show, Miller examines contemporary urban space via an eight-minute PowerPoint slideshow. It is essentially a short-form photo essay that blends together narrative, criticism, appropriation, and poetry. Many of the images are simply blank close-ups of street and sidewalk surfaces, edited in rapid succession. Intercut with these are fragmentary quotations about urban space. Certeau has observed that city can only exist if its ordinary inhabitants, seen as pedestrians, can appropriate and alter it in their own ways.

Miller contrasts fragmentary citations from Certau with those from Erving Goffman, an influential American sociologist who viewed the social world as a theater of conflict and contestation. As the Power-Point unfolds, the impact of surveillance apparatuses and social control becomes ever more apparent. Miller’s interest in public space began with the photo series Clubs for America (1992), which documents the sites of sex clubs in New York City that closed or were closed after the onset of the AIDS epidemic.

This investigation led him to his ongoing photo project The Middle of the Day (1994 – present) which consists of images taken, between noon and 2 pm., the typical hours of a lunch break. The current exhibition extends Miller’s ongoing investigation of the daily realities of economics and social class, specifically by considering digital technology’s transformation of public space – through mobile phones in particular. It suggests that photography, rather than augmenting memory, may actually diminish it.
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About the seller

Praz-Delavallade • France

Artsper seller since 2017

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Collector’s Guide

Imagine it at home

John Miller, Untitled (church)
John Miller

John Miller

United States  • 1954

Born in 1954, Cleveland, OH, US
Lives and works between New York, NY, US and Berlin, DE
M.F.A. California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA, US
Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program, New York, NY, US
B.F.A., Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, US

The work of John Miller, like Mike Kelley's or Jim Shaw's to a certain extent, ought to have waited for the end of the 1980s to find its proper place on the artistic scene, and the early years of the 1990s in order to benefit from a new context of understanding. Among such contemporaries as Kelley and Shaw, but also Tony Oursler and Stephen Prina, Miller indeed embodies a singular position for he brings about a synthesis of an ideologically committed critique of representation and a postconceptual shift towards the "real".

Using completely stereotyped genres (figurative painting, travel photography, landscape painting, and so on), Miller has been engaged since the end of the 1970s in a global critique of the function of the auteur and the resulting loss of the work of art's "aura". Yet this critique is only a means, serving a larger process of hollowing out the repressed aspect of the ideological aggregates of day-to-day vernacular late-capitalist American culture.
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