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Harland Miller: The Artist Who Reimagines Book Covers

Harland Miller, Demons Are Forever (After Asger Jorn), 2022, Courtesy of White Cube

Born in 1964, Harland Miller is a prolific writer and artist, renowned for his inventive and slightly sardonicistic re-imaginings of book covers. Raised in Yorkshire, Miller has lived across the globe, spending time in New York and Berlin before settling in London. His art is focused on highlighting the symbiotic relationship between words and images.

In 2001, Miller embarked on his artistic journey with a series of paintings based on the dust jackets of Penguin books. This marked a significant shift in his approach, fusing elements of Pop Art, abstraction, and figurative painting with his profound love for text. Inspired by his passion for Penguin books and a fondness for his parents' home library, his work quickly gained attention as it provided a welcome nostalgia for viewers. With this, he draws from the universal experience of the literature in daily life, through coffee mug rings, and the heartfelt inscriptions found within book covers. Miller's intricate attention to detail allows for an intimate glimpse into the artist's mind and inspirations as he share's

Harland Miller, A First to Cry On (2015), Oil on Canvas, Courtesy of White Cube

Known for his bold reinterpretations of iconic Penguin book covers, Harland Miller moved into a new style of watercolors and drawings that shared a liking to classic still-life studies. He experiments with various paper sizes and angles, occasionally revealing the spines of the books and the shadows cast. This departure from his usual style is a celebration of books as treasured objects, inviting viewers to contemplate the significance of literature in our lives.

Harland Miller, High on Hope (2014), Oil on Canvas, Courtesy of White Cube

In a different vein of his artistic endeavors, Miller ventured into a series of fictional book covers that showcased hard-edged paintings. These works featured layered letters in various typefaces, in bold and saturated colors. Throughout his work, Miller drew inspiration from renowned painters like Robert Rauschenberg and Ed Ruscha, particularly in their use of signage and motifs. In this series, he also paid tribute to the aesthetic palette and design lines reminiscent of Art Deco and early 20th-century artistic styles.

In 2020, Miller exhibited in a solo exhibition in England entitled, York: So Good They Named it Once, York Art Gallery (2020).

To learn more about the artist:


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