In the San Francisco Gallery
March 28 – May 11
reception Saturday, March 30, 5:00 – 8:00 pm
SF29: We are pleased to be showing new work by prominent Los Angeles painter John Millei. Millei has an extensive history of solo exhibitions in Los Angeles and Europe. Past group shows include exhibitions with Gerhard Richter, Helmut Federle, Helmut Dorner, Jacqueline Humphries and Nancy Haynes.
Millei’s approach to painting has left him free to leap from motif to motif, and from abstraction to figuration and back, in many ways anticipating the attitudes of a younger generation of painters. Like artists just turning 30 now, Millei, who is in his 50s, has an attitude toward art history like one simply born to it. But in another sense the success of his work and the freedom of it is tied to an understanding that ordinarily takes a lifetime to grasp: that the image is carried by the paint itself and not what you do with it.
The six paintings in this show were painted for the San Francisco gallery space, for the intimacy of it. They were conceived as a progression, and in some sense perhaps as a kind of private correspondence. Millei’s titles remind me of the Ox Herding pictures of Zen tradition, and place their emphasis on the ongoing practice of painting over any single result of that practice. Still, they are, each one, wonderfully realized works, modest in scale and ambitious in scope, and encapsulate all the best of an experience paint offers that is unavailable through any other medium.
A catalog with six color reproductions accompanies the exhibition.