Recent Articles
News Of A Very Special Auction Happening Next Week
Investment Pieces
News Of A Very Special Auction Happening Next Week
10 Questions for LatchKey Gallery co-founders
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for LatchKey Gallery co-founders Natalie Kates and Amanda L. Uribe
INTERVIEW: Elmgreen & Dragset
Meet the Artist
INTERVIEW: Elmgreen & Dragset 'What We Need to do, As Cultural Workers Today, Is to Find a New Way of Getting Back Our Dignity as Citizens'
10 Questions for RESORT Gallery co-founders Seth Adelsberger and
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for RESORT Gallery co-founders Seth Adelsberger and Alex Ebstein
10 Questions for River Gallery Founder Carl E. Smith
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for River Gallery Founder Carl E. Smith
10 Questions for Davis Editions and Originals Founder Jeff Davis
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for Davis Editions and Originals Founder Jeff Davis
10 Questions for Baby Blue Gallery Founder Caleb Beck
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for Baby Blue Gallery Founder Caleb Beck
10 Questions for Carvalho Park's Jennifer Carvalho
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for Carvalho Park co-Founder Jennifer Carvalho
The Making of Love, Rihanna: Luxury Supreme
Close Look
'A Piece of Art That I am Really Proud Of' - Rihanna on Love, Rihanna: Luxury Supreme
INTERVIEW: Sterling Ruby
Meet the Artist
INTERVIEW: Sterling Ruby 'In America, often the response to negative aspects of the system is to retreat to platitudes about morals and family values. In this way nothing is achieved.'
INTERVIEW: Kerry James Marshall
Meet the Artist
INTERVIEW: Kerry James Marshall 'I never think of artworks as having a quality that’s intended to mobilize people to action. They don’t make people do things. But they do put questions in the mind of a viewer that they may not have entertained before...'
Come On Our Virtual Studio Visit With Maria Jimena Herrera
Meet the Artist
Come On Our Virtual Studio Visit With Maria Jimena Herrera
Jeff Koons on Big Ideas and Gazing Balls
Perspectives
Jeff Koons on Desire, Beauty, the Vastness of the Universe, and the Intimacy of Right Here, Right Now
Could Artist Collectives Transform A Post-Corona Art World?
On Trend
Could Artist Collectives Transform A Post-Corona Art World?
INTERVIEW: Sarah Sze on How all Art is Essentially Sculpture
Meet the Artist
INTERVIEW: Sarah Sze on the Changing Pace of Time and Space, the Ebb and Flow of Information, and How all Art is Essentially Sculpture

Exhibitions

John Miller Indulges His "Bad Conscience" in Metro Pictures's Riveting Group Show

By

An installation view of John Miller's "Bad Conscience" at Metro Pictures (Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures)
An installation view of John Miller's "Bad Conscience" at Metro Pictures (Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures)
Another view, with Walter Robinson's bunny painting at dead center (Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures)
Another view, with Walter Robinson's bunny painting at dead center (Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures)
A view of the show (Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures)
A view of the show (Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures)
Miller, an artist and critic, included many of his friends and associates in his selection. (Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures)
Miller, an artist and critic, included many of his friends and associates in his selection. (Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures)

The latest Metro Pictures exhibition, "Bad Conscience," may seem to have an ironic title, given that the exhibition's curator, the artist and writer John Miller, has organized a show of his friends, associates, and collaborators. Themes of unease bubble beneath the surface—but the audience can only benefit from the wide range of artists of all genres and ages Miller has brought together for this fascinating group show. Through paintings, photographs, and moving images by artists the likes of Marilyn Minter, Wangechi Mutu, Aura Rosenberg, Lyle Ashton HarrisDan Graham, and Artspace's own resident artist/columnist Walter Robinson, Miller creates a lively dialogue that questions and redefines this enigmatic title. 

An academic streak runs through the show, as Miller brings to light his role as not only as an artist and curator but also as a teacher. The group includes some of Miller's former students at ColumbiaCaleb Considine, Greg Parma Smith, and Matt Watson—who have become sucessful realist painters in their own right. Watson's works, portraits of his other former professors Nic Guagnini and Kara Walker, were made in exchange for a work by each of the artists he painted, posing a commentary within a commentary on the role of the teacher and the taught, or subject and artist. Those relationships also hold a particular interest for Miller: his forthcoming 2015 book Educational Complex examines Mike Kelley's work of the same title, in which the artist created a model mashup of every school he had attended as well as his childhood home. (Kelley and Miller were classmates at CalArts.)

The title, "Bad Conscience," lends itself to describe many kinds of discomfort or difficulty—in maintaining relationships, in attempting an accurate portrayal, or in taking away a broader message from a work of art. It's a sentiment that reflects Miller's own work. "Most of my imagery has a stodgy aspect, and plays with that as a theatrical trope," Miller told Liam Gillick in 2012, in BOMB magazine. "It’s a pedantic posture. Instead of subversion, I would assign the value of dysfunction to painting." That kind of dysfuction in clearly on display in the paintings and drawings in the Metro Pictures exhibition.

On the more subtle end of the spectrum are Minter's paintings of spilled coffee or Guagnini's crumpled sculptures, while while the work of Rosenberg (Miller's wife) quite literally calls the title into play with a riff on Freud's famed case study of "Little Hans," a five-year-old boy with a crippling phobia of horses. Jane Dickson's painting of a 1981 strip club in the formerly seedy Times Square not only makes an obvious reference to "badness" but also questions our own cityscape's changes, for better or worse. The densely packed presentation, with sometimes over a dozen works on a wall, only builds on that anxiety in a madcap but ultimately supercharged display. 

DISCOVER

a treasure trove of fine art from the world's most renowned artists, galleries, museums and cultural institutions. We offer exclusive works you can't find anywhere else.

LEARN

through exclusive content featuring art news, collecting guides, and interviews with artists, dealers, collectors, curators and influencers.

BUY

authentic artworks from across the globe. Collecting with us means you're helping to sustain creative culture and supporting organizations that are making the world a better place.

CONNECT

with our art advisors for buying advice or to help you find the art that's perfect for you. We have the resources to find works that suit your needs.

INSIDER ACCESS TO THE WORLD'S BEST ART

Artspace offers you authentic, exclusive works from world-renowned artists, galleries, museums and cultural institutions. Collecting with us helps support creative culture while bringing you art news, interviews and access to global art resources.

  • COLLECT FROM 300+ GALLERIES & MUSEUMS