I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...
The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...
The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...
The artist and writer Harland Miller (born 1964) is known for his large-scale, playful reworkings of Penguin book covers. Miller takes much-loved book jackets of classic works by Hemmingway, Fitzgerald, Edgar Allen Poe and others as his starting point. By rendering them in oils at poster size with quirky new titles, he transforms them into contemporary, often satirical commentaries on life and literature. Whether ironic, nostalgic, or downright cheeky – Dirty Northern Bastard, by DH Lawrence, or I'm so Fucking Hard, by Hemmingway – the titles demythologise and amuse in equal measure.
Harland Miller is attracted to books as objects – the more battered, stained and lived in the better. 'I remember my parents' Penguin books. For me, they are about nostalgia for a by-gone era – that musty smell, those coffee-mug rings, the often heart-breaking inscriptions on the inside cover.'
Miller has lived and worked in New York, Berlin, Paris and London. Born in the North of England in 1964, Miller's fondness for the drizzle and grimness of those northern towns remains a strong theme in his work. 'I suppose mine is a very English sense of humour,' he says.
In this rare display of his watercolours and drawings, Miller's Penguin covers are closer to still life studies, rather than two-dimensional posters. Experimenting with different paper sizes and angles, he occasionally shows their spines, and the shadows they cast. It is a celebration of books as treasured objects. His drawings – in particular his studies for his large-scale oil paintings with their notes scribbled down the margins – are some of his most intimate works to date.
Group exhibitions include Fools Rain, ICA, London, 1996, Direct Painting, Kunsthalle, Mannheim, 2004, Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2005, 2006, and The Sculpture in the Close, Jesus College, Cambridge, 2013. Solo exhibitions include Don't Let the Bastards Cheer You Up, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, 2009, The Next Life's On Me, White Cube Hoxton Square, London, 2012, Wherever You Are Whatever You're Doing This One's For You, Reflex Amsterdam, NL, 2013, and Tonight We Make History (P.S. I Can't Be There), Blain|Southern Berlin, DE, 2016.
Harland Miller's works switch between being sardonic, hilarious and nostalgic as his own phrases replace the original titles of Penguin books.
We have sent you an email containing a link to reset your password. Simply click the link and enter your new password to complete this process.
Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.