Dan Miller (b. 1961, Castro Valley, CA) spends the majority of each day drawing, painting, typing, or otherwise rendering a dizzying array of letters and numbers into layered abstractions. Names of objects, food items, cities, friends, family members, and other details of life inhabit his works, but their legibility is almost always completely obliterated by the artist’s obsessive overlapping of words. In 2010, Time Out New York’s Ann Doran wrote, “Miller’s astonishing works fuse compulsive documentation with gestural abstraction, their autobiographical content dispersed, like sand in water, in a nonobjective field.”
Miller, who is autistic, is a twenty-five-year veteran of Oakland’s Creative Growth Art Center, the country’s most renowned non-profit serving artists with disabilities. He is the most renowned living artist at Creative Growth, whose roster includes internationally known figures like William Scott (b.1964), Judith Scott (1943-2005) and Dwight MacKintosh (1906-1999).
While the self-taught Miller has been known almost exclusively for his drawings in ink and acrylic on paper, more recently he has expanded his use of materials to include ceramics, textiles, and wood. Miller has also decidedly gone bigger in the period leading up to and after the 2017 Venice Biennale for which curator Christine Macel selected his work for the central exhibition “Viva Arte Viva.” Some of Miller’s compositions have become almost monumental, measuring over twelve feet tall.