SCOTT SPEH GALLERY
845 W Washington Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607
( scott at westernexhibitions dot com)
Wednesdays thru Saturdays
11am to 6pm
editions and more
December 14, 2012 to January 26, 2013
MILLER In the Garden
| images | Press:
Reader | Huffington
his second solo show at Western Exhibitions, “In the Garden,”
Dutes Miller presents an installation of new works on paper
and sculptures that invokes an ecstatic vision of nature in
which homosexuality is not only included but is the norm. Miller
re-imagines Eden as gay cruising grounds, a carnal paradise
populated by homosexual fauna that hunt one another amongst
phallic flora. Although playful and imaginative, his recent
work critically engage with the mythologies surrounding human
show opens on Friday, December 14 with a free public
reception from 5 to 8pm.
Continuing his exploration of appropriated sexual imagery, Miller’s
new works on paper consist of pages torn from gay porn magazines,
which the artist has altered by painting over the men with acrylic
and gouache. In the resulting images, the figures sometimes
stand out starkly, other times they disappear into their environments.
The effect is whimsical, evocative, and eerie. The anonymous
figures, identifiable mainly by the color with which each is
individually embellished, evoke aspects of gay sexual practices
such as cruising and the coordination of desire by strict typology.
These works also allude to the continuing invisibility of actual
homosexual desire in mainstream media despite increased acceptance
of gay culture.
Miller’s gallery of monochromatic men overlooks a garden
with an Astroturf floor, planted with strange fungi and over
which distended fruit dangle. These fleshy plant forms comprise
clusters of cast wax fingers and objects produced by filling
condoms with silicon or plaster. A fountain, “Lingam”
provides the centerpiece of Miller’s polymorphous perverse
patch, its title referencing phallic sculptures that represent
the Hindu deity, Shiva. Other works on view augment the charged
atmosphere of sexuality, nature, and spirituality. “Dicks
In,” for instance, shows a collaged arrangement of anuses
in the form of a mandala. In several works, such as “Target
Practice #2” animal forms predominate, suggesting a zoology
of queer desire.
Dutes Miller’s first solo
show at Western Exhibitions in 2009 was reviewed on Artforum.com,
Time Out Chicago,
City and the
Chicago Tribune and was named one of the “Top
5 Shows of the Year” by the Chicago Art Review.
Miller’s work has been included in exhibitions at White
Flag Projects in St. Louis (reviews here
and the Ukranian Museum of Art, 40000 and COMA, all in Chicago
His collaborative work with his husband Stan Shellabarger, as
Miller & Shellabarger, won a 2008 Artadia Award and a 2007
Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation award.. Miller & Shellabarger
have been written about in Artforum.com, Art &
Auction, Frieze, Artnet, The Art Newspaper,
Flash Art, TimeOut Chicago, and the Chicago
Sun-Times. Miller received a BFA from Illinois State University
and is an accomplished pastry chef. He lives and works in Chicago.