It is uniquely appropriate that Maren Miller’s exhibition at Important Projects is set between the change of the calendar year. Miller’s show, like the experience of temporal boundary of the New Year, allows for an unexpected moment for reflection. Miller’s two untitled pieces expose the ponderous phase change materially between painting and sculpture, while also slipping between formal and conceptual.
The pleasure of seeing “Now that I know” arrived after I had left the small room and the suite of object/paintings, and grew as time passed. The strength of Miller’s presentation lay in the paring of her objects, an unstretched shaped canvas on the wall and a stuffed worm-shape covered by the alphabet on the floor. The canvas used, the always popular, faux realism to allude to a textile being stretched, which though clever relies on the non sequitor of the floor piece. Although the floor piece is quite strong alone, it is enhanced by its neighbor and the confined quality of the Important Project’s space. Miller’s “Now that I Know” expands the notion of visual experience beyond the present object into ideas and transitional phases. Like the alphabet so clearly and thoughtfully marked on the worm-form, an essential system of communication can lose its familiar meaning and become a lovely form of decoration.
“Now that I know”
Important Projects, Rockridge, Oakland, CA
December 11, 2010 – January 15, 2011