Judy Millar is one of New Zealand’s most internationally recognised artists. She shares her time between Auckland and Berlin and has a significant reputation in Europe, which continues to gain momentum.
Recent career highlights include two exhibitions at the Venice Bienniale (representing New Zealand with her solo exhibition Giraffe-Bottle-Gun, 2009; and in Time, Space, Existence a curated exhibition including new works by Carl Andre and Marina Abramovic, 2011); exhibitions at Rohkunstbau, Berlin and Schloss Marquardt, Potsdam, and a feature in Sculpture Magazine (November 2011). Works from her 2011 Ferryman series have already been collected by the Museum St Gallen and Tichy Foundation in Prague.
Broadly speaking Millar works from a within conceptual painting framework, in which she freely references painting's recent histories, particularly delighting in plundering the expressiveness of gestural painting. Working with processes of erasure, wiping or scraping paint off the surface of the work, Millar takes up known positions only to deconstruct and question their previous meanings. In recent years Millar has used mechanically-generated enlargements of handmade gestures to challenge our expectations of the expressive gesture and of the efficacy of painting as a contemporary means of communication. In these works is a clear desire to grant painting the same power as all the other images that press upon us daily.