My work explores the fallibility of infrastructure and the precariousness of perception, as seen through a materially-intensive, process-based lens. I create elaborate site-specific installations that are equal parts absurd, menacing, and poetic. Pattern and tactility confuse and complicate identification, camouflaging recognizable forms and evoking recognition when applied to non-objective forms. The tensions between fact/fiction and dimensionality/flatness are endlessly fascinating to me, playing out in my work as a dialogue between reality and illusion.
More recently, I have become fascinated with rope and knotting as a byproduct of my large-scale installations, where I utilize rope to achieve tension that gives volume to otherwise flat materials. The varied use of rope and knotting across cultures and history ranges from utilitarian to decorative, and even deadly. I create interdependent knotted topographies that allude to both structure and malleability. The repeated act of tying by hand integrates an emphatic sense of strength, while the flexibility and nuance of the textile material ensures structural permutations. The resulting works are only quasi-architectural, providing metaphorical insight laced with humor as related to a variety of structural and systemic behavior.
Liz Miller received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA from the University of Minnesota. Miller’s installations and works on paper have been featured in solo and group exhibitions regionally, nationally and internationally. Miller’s awards include a 2013 McKnight Professional Development Grant from Forecast Public Art; a 2011-12 McKnight Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists; a 2011 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant; a 2007-08 MCAD/Jerome Foundation Fellowship; and Artist Initiative Grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board in 2007, 2009, 2012, 2014, and 2016. Miller lives and works in Good Thunder, MN. She is Professor of Installation and Drawing at Minnesota State University-Mankato.