The Loves of the Gods
A Solo Exhibition by Adam Miller
4 November - 21 December
Gallery Poulsen invites Florence to Copenhagen when we present The Loves of the Gods, the first solo exhibition by the American-born, Italian-based painter Adam Miller in the gallery. The exhibition opens on Saturday, November 4th with an opening reception from 12.00 to 16.00 in Gallery Poulsen, Staldgade 32, Copenhagen V. Adam Miller will be present at the exhibition's opening.
Adam Miller’s new solo exhibition is inspired by the poem Metamorphoses, written by the Roman poet Ovid, which is a compendium of stories of the gods and heroes of ancient Greece. It is playful and erotic and has inspired multiple great masterpieces of Western art. The Metamorphoses has been Miller's subject for the last four years, where he has been exploring the illusionistic mixture of architectural forms, sculpture, and realistic narrative scenes reminiscent of Italy's Renaissance palazzos and cathedrals.
With his new series of works, Adam Miller conveys ancient myths that, in their great influence and universality, have become part of the human spirit and our collective history. A series of paintings within the collection of new works, whose motifs are framed by doric columns painted on the canvases, portray the myth of Jupiter (Zeus) and the priestess Io. The other works in the exhibition express different myths of the gods, including Pluto’s abduction of Persephone and the story of Mars and Venus. The works are accompanied by two large-scale, onsite, and improvised drawings made specifically for this exhibition.
The four central paintings of the exhibition tell the story of Jupiter's love for Io and the jealousy of Hera. In the first painting, titled Zeus Spots Io and Falls in Love, we see Zeus accompanied by an eagle on a cloud with his lightning in his hand descending as a frightened Io turns in fear. She is bathing in a river accompanied by a river god and a nymph. In the second panel, Hera having discovered her Husband Zeus' seduction of Io turns her into a cow and is seen riding her reveling in her power. Hera sends Io to be watched over by her guardian Argus of many eyes. Zeus, who wishes to have Io back, sends Hermes to lull Argus to sleep and slay him, setting Io free. This is shown in the third panel, Hermes Lulls Argus to Sleep with Music. Finally, Hermes transforms Io back into a woman and Zeus and Hera can be seen reconciled in the clouds.
In addition to the paintings, the show includes a series of drawings, one of which is Persephone and Pluto. The scene depicts Persephone, who was the daughter of the goddess Demeter, gathering flowers in a meadow one morning when Pluto, the lord of the underworld, saw her and was immediately smitten. He rose from the underworld and carried her down to Hades to be his queen in the realm of the dead. Her mother searched for her and caused all the plants and flowers to wither and die until Pluto was forced to compromise and release Persephone for half of the year. This is why half of the year vegetation thrives and for the other half it is dead. The drawing shows the moment Pluto leaps from the underworld to take her with him. In addition to being a stand-alone work, the drawing also serves as a study for a larger painting that will be shown at Art Miami in December 2023.
In the exhibition’s combination of figurative painting and architectural elements, Miller revives a Renaissance tradition where artists (e.g., Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo Da Vinci) worked as painters, architects, sculptors, designers, inventors, and more, and by doing so, created artistic practices and oeuvres that were wide-ranging and multi-faceted. In his dramatic reinterpretation of the gallery space, Miller adopts the role of designer and architect, using his two improvised drawings to create a cohesive and immersive experience where the transition between space, walls, and artwork becomes entirely seamless.
Born in Oregon in 1979 Adam Miller is known for large-scale, multifigure paintings dealing with myth, politics, and human drama. His paintings venture into the scale and complexity of the artistic traditions of the Renaissance, Baroque, and European Mannerism while updating the subjects to tell stories of contemporary life. At thirteen years old, Miller began an apprenticeship with artist Allen Jones and was accepted to the Florence Academy of Art in Italy at sixteen where he continued his studies under Michael John Angel. After his graduation, Miller spent four years traveling throughout Europe studying the work of the Renaissance, Baroque, and Mannerist painters. Here he began developing his personal artistic expression which reflects the beauty and grace of the human form through an application of expressive light and an incredible richness of color and depth. Miller has since exhibited his works at The Musee National des Beaux-arts du Quebec, The McCord Museum, and The Mesa Contemporary Museum, as well as in numerous galleries throughout Europe and the United States. Miller currently lives and works in Florence, Italy.
We are looking forward to seeing you at the opening of The Loves of the Gods, Adam Miller's first solo exhibition in Gallery Poulsen.
The Loves of the Gods
A Solo Exhibition by Adam Miller
04.11.23 – 21.12.23
Opening reception: Saturday, November 4th at 12.00 – 16.00
The exhibition presents six oil paintings, three framed drawings, and two large-scale, onsite drawings.
Please contact the gallery at [email protected] or tel.+ 45 33 33 93 96 for more info