Susan Miller: Testament In Stone
On View April 12 – September 11, 2016
Susan Miller “sees” through stone. She has the ability to perceive and reveal, through the density of weighty blocks of marble. The subjects of the pieces are connected to names from history, mythology and the Old Testament, like Solomon, Moses and Job and Leah, Hannah, and Ruth. The Biblical passages, poetry, and prose that accompany the works serve as inspiration and are further invitation to reflect.
In her own words, Susan Miller said, “Marble is a demanding medium. An artist wrestles with it. Along the way as you are covered in stone dust day after day you become one with it. You have long hours to think about the subject. The timeless tales of the Hebrew Bible seemed to deserve that they were being interpreted and expanded in nothing less than the earth itself and the stone that was created by the pressures of time.”
In Miller’s work, there is a common ground between the artist, the material, the work and the viewer that is nourished by the memory and gravity of the sacred, where the sculpture becomes a repository for the verse.
In her description of one the pieces, Miller writes, “Very little description of Leah is written. Her story, however briefly related, spoke to me as a woman. In Leah Rejected, you see her as I envisioned her waking up in the morning after her marriage to Jacob. Jacob must have been furious because he thought he had married Rachel, Leah’s younger sister. Nothing is said of how Leah felt during this rejection. This sculpture is an emotional portrait of how I imagine Leah felt at that moment, despairing and desperate, as if her body was ripped open.”
The form and texture of Miller’s sculptures express her spirit and the beauty of the human body, a form that communicates dignity and energy. This exhibition, Testament in Stone, is an invitation to enjoy marble and awake to the possibilities of ancient texts.