Nathan Miner: The Long Now
June 19 – August 14, 2014
Over the course of two months, from June 19th to August 14th, Nathan Miner used the main gallery as his studio, creating two new large experimental paintings and exhibiting five previously completed large-scale works. The public was invited to follow Miner’s progress as he creates his new works during open studio hours, every Tuesday thru Thursday from 10-4pm and Saturday, August 2 & 9, 1-5pm.
For two months, visitors were able to view Miner’s evolving, generative process. His mixed media practice consists of traditional drawing, painting, digital manipulation and sketching. The artist begins with a pencil sketch and digital photos. Each are scanned and compiled into a single, multi-layered Photoshop file. Miner then prints out the composited image on large-scale watercolor paper. He continues to work directly on its surface using watercolor and Japanese ink.
Miner prints the composited image across multiple large sheets of watercolor paper and mounts these to aluminum panels in order to create a uniform surface at a mural-scale. He then begins again working the entire surface by hand with pencil, watercolor, gouache, airbrush and acrylic paint. After many layers of these media the artist seals the surface with shellac and finishes the work with oil paint. Within the scope of these works the viewer is engulfed not only by a large canvas, but also by a visual terrain compounding the history of Miner’s decision making. The scale and layers of detail provoke a shift from passive observer to active participant, encouraging entrance into the abstract landscapes that echo our reality.
At some point he scans this mixed media composition into the computer again and the process continues. The individually printed panels are adhered to a metal substructure joined together to forms works at a mural-scale. The viewer is engulfed not by a large canvas, but a terrain that compounds the history of Miner’s decision making. As a result viewers will shift from the role of observer to that of active participant, allowing them to enter the constructed landscapes that echo our reality.
In the end each layer is a deliberate visual decision. Bradbury describes each composition as, “reminiscent of the many layers of rock, sand, and sediment that form the geological layers of the earth’s surface.” Miner’s final work connects his practice to the cultural study of understanding landscapes from a sensory perspective. He aligns the abstruse digital landscape with earth toned colors so that the two communicate a combined language.
Miner’s work is concerned with subjective studies of time, materials and sensory properties, known as phenomenological experience. At the moment, digital interconnectedness has radically shifted how the world is viewed. Miner’s work counteracts the fast pace of contemporary life necessitating slower optical engagement. The artist’s process supports the idea of slowing down and making decisions that reflect and respond to careful observation. Bradbury says, “Miner’s in depth investigation of the themes of time and perception is sophisticated and philosophical. We are excited to be able to share it with our audiences.”