EA Ruzicska

The Berlin-born artist GEROLD MILLER (*1961 Altshausen, Germany) is preoccupied with the question how to leave the classical sphere of painting and liberate the invention of an image from traditional visual patterns. Radical reduction and monochrome colour areas are his response. With minimal usage of forms and colours his objects are both pictures and sculptures at the same time. Early objects from the mid-1980s, entitled Anlagen, already illustrated his considerations on the work, area and space; gloss paint, dribbled across a steel frame gave an individual status to space as part of the work of art. Steel and later aluminium replace the canvas as classical picture carriers. Total Object 347 and Total Object 354 are examples of this manner of inventing a picture. The largest work in the exhibition Total Object 347 is outstanding because of its monochrome, cherry-red varnish and brings to mind the Anlagen of the early years: the white supporting wall becomes an essential part of the artefact.

GEROLD MILLER works continuously with the means of repetition. After finding the form, he varies this as in his series Set, or in the Instant Visions, by modifying colours and sizes. Instant Vision 242 and Instant Vision 244 in our exhibition are impressive by the variation of the colours pink and red in bold combination with silver. Five Sets (666-670), of the same size in medium format, bring to mind earlier works in the series. These were based on an extremely precise and minimalistic reduced principle of composition of right-angular colour areas overlaying each other. Now the rectangles have given way to a square located in the centre of the picture which is surrounded by multi-coloured spaces. The monochrome nature of the early Sets has been replaced by polychromatic works which dilute the stringency of the forms and range from cyclamen to egg-yoke-yellow.

On the first floor of the gallery there is an exhibition within an exhibition with seven Instant Visions in small format (50 x 50 x 3.5 cm). In the formally reduced works made of aluminium and varnish GEROLD MILLER analyses questions of pictoriality in the transition zone between picture and sculpture. “He is interested in the sensitive degree to which space moves in the area, and representation becomes abstraction.” (Friederike Nymphius).

Despite the fact that the completion of the works of art involves a highly engineered process in order to achieve absolute perfection and precision, the creative act of the artist is traditional. His studies of sculpture at the State Academy of the Fine Arts in Stuttgart still have an impact nowadays. GEROLD MILLER draws by hand, without any technical aids; he makes prototypes of his works, examines the physical presence of his choice of colour in differing light situations. With the new works GEROLD MILLER demonstrates once again that with his reduced canon of form and colour he can repeatedly invent outstanding pictures.

Salzburg, April 2023

Katja Mittendorfer