Garry Fabian Miller
Garry Fabian Miller
Garry Fabian Miller's brightly colored, geometrically-based abstract photographs are meditative. They pulse. Stare deep and long enough and you might expect them to intone a few words of wisdom, oracle-style. Aesthetically, Miller's pulled off a neat trick, in that these photos are almost exactly what Donald Judd's wall boxes would look like if lit by Dan Flavins florescence and then rendered as prints. In the case of two vertically-oriented works, "Feldspar 1" and "Last Evenings," that hybridization is most explicit, as Miller combines a Judd stack with Flavin’s light fixtures, flattened into two dimensions. The only downside here is in the decision to create these pieces out of five individual prints, rather than one long one, causing the vertical motion to be interrupted by the seams between each.
Other works here are catalogued beneath the umbrella of a series entitled "Year 2." Here it's Flavin plus Judd via Josef Albers — colored rectangles, glowing with an otherwordly aura. Miller's "camera-less" photographic processes add value, and they're more than simple nods to art-historical references achieved with a bit of darkroom magic. The rich, hyper-saturated yellows, reds, and blues aren't solid, homogenous blocks of color: Look closely and you'll catch the nuance of the hues. (You'll also catch your reflection in the glass covering the photos, which is a shame.)
A third series of work, subtitled "Silicate 1-2" and "Silicate 3-4," in baby-duck yellow on white backgrounds, seems a bit naïve in comparison. But the retinal impact of the "Cobalt" series in Miller’s "Year 2" progression — sold explicitly as a complete set of 10 prints, itself a reminder of Judd-esque authoritarianism — is the real draw. These works manage to appear both soothing and seething, pent up with whatever mysterious energy hides behind those simple rectangular forms.