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John M. Miller / Eben Goff
Diane Rosenstein Gallery, Hollywood, California
Recommendation by Michael Shaw

John M. Miller continues to deliver potent perceptual variations within a set geometric formula. Eben Goff mixes visual cues in sculpture that is witty and rich in surprise.


Continuing through April 13, 2013


You always know what you're going to get with John M. Miller; or do you? The design formula remains the same, and has continued to be so for 37 years now: Miller makes acrylic on raw canvas paintings using a repeating pattern of diagonal bars — two vertical short ones above, below, and beside one that is longer and more horizontal. It's the overall variation in the bars' colors, and the size and shapes of the canvases, either vertical or horizontal, which do change. Historically Miller has favored blacks the most often, made up of his own mixtures of color, and occasionally white or red.  This grouping includes a few works from around 2000, but primarily they're from 2011 and 2012, and what is notable is that by his standards, these selections are completely wild. There's an all-blue bar work, and an eight and a half-foot-wide piece composed of five sections — red, blue, and three shades of black; this for him a smorgasbord. A large red-barred painting produces a sensation that is felt as much by the body as seen through the eyes. Giving Miller the benefit of the doubt simply because of his long-term commitment to such a focused pursuit can't justify a body of work. But once you get past the debate of too predictable-vs.-perpetually reliable, the works always deliver, if on their own terms.


Eben Goff's modest-sized wall sculptures will inevitably invoke the word "handsome" as a descriptor, even "sexy," which for the overly self-conscious viewer (and who among us isn't?) can feel like they lead to a limiting web of formalism. Pure beauty remains easier to pull off critically in sculpture than in painting, but oddly enough, these works insist on becoming part of the conversation about that line between the two forms. Pigment, wax, and shiny aluminum align together to seduce in ways both more intimate and personal than what you might experience with even the most alluring Donald Judd. "Lyra," which uses pyrography on wood, along with plaster and brass, is a 14-inch high, six-inch deep vessel that's half baby bassinet and half tomb. But humor is on hand, as well, especially a wood, aluminum, and brass hollowed-out fragment (like one end of a fetishized canoe), only squared off rather than pointed) that's been dubbed "The Blue Lawyer." Willing or not, you will be seduced (Diane Rosenstein Gallery, Hollywood).


Published courtesy of ArtSceneCal ©2013

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