Total Object 124, 2007
130 x 130 x 10 cm
Photo: Gerhard Sauer
With the more expansive surfaces in his group of works entitled “Total Objects”, Gerold Miller embarked on a new phase in the development of his frame-like wall objects, which have brought the artist international attention since the 1990s. The characteristic square outline with rounded corners in this “Total Object 124” is repeated on a smaller scale in the cut-out that allows our gaze to alight on the wall behind. The turquoise surface can be read as a schematic drop shadow that has been slightly shifted, but unlike the “Total Objects” that came later, this has been done without suggesting any spatial dimension.
Gerold Miller has come in the meantime to refer to his objects as “Flatscreens”, which with their high gloss surfaces reflect their surroundings – not only those in the immediate vicinity but also those further away. In their clarity and reduction they are an answer to the deluge of the media we experience and allow our gaze to come to rest. And while doing so any number of intrinsic links between the work and art history rise before our inner eye: the way these works oscillate between picture and object, between two and three dimensionality brings to mind the Renaissance idea of the perspective painting as a window onto the world, as well as Lucio Fontana’s “concetti spaziali” from the 1950s and 1960s. But in the latter’s slit canvases the eye never alights on the sober wall; Fontana was concerned with the experience of a metaphysical, infinite space, while Gerold Miller brings the concrete surroundings into his work.
With the rounded-off corners the artist picks up on the aesthetic and grammar of forms developed in the 1960s, as for instance in the work of Thomas Lenk and Georg Karl Pfahler. Gerold Miller’s works distinguish themselves by the principle of Minimal Art that excludes every form of personal expression, and present designerly echoes in their form and colour. His concept of drawing a boundary applies not only to his works in public space but also to his actions, and can be traced back to his early projects. In an action performed in 1996, a dog that had been “artistically instructed” beforehand marked its territory in its doggish fashion in the corners of the room, thus creating a space within a space. On a smaller scale, the “Total Objects” likewise assimilate outside space. And on the larger scale, Gerold Miller stages environments by creating interactions between his autonomous objects and the lighting and the paint on the walls. They allow a visual and three-dimensional experience that is definable while simultaneously dissolving the boundaries.
1961 born in Altshausen
Lives and works in Berlin