January 14–February 11, 2023
Steve Turner is pleased to present Before I Entered the Room, What Was I?, a solo exhibition by New York-based Brittany Miller which presents new paintings that convey unresolved human dramas.
Some depict solitary figures resting in contemplation on a bed or sofa while others depict a bedroom with an open book on the bed. Some of the figures appear calm, others appear to be agitated. At first glance, the interiors seem spare and simple, with an orderly arrangement of beds, sofas and pillows. However, on closer examination, one sees that the walls are adorned with erupting volcanoes, lightning, colorful mountain ranges or star-filled skies. In some works, theater curtains frame the backdrop, transforming the scene into a stage, while other works include open books that suggest windows to an outer world. Miller adds complexity by painstakingly applying oil paint in straight or undulating parallel lines. In so doing, she also conveys mystery through the emptiness that lies between the lines.
The exhibition’s title, Before I Entered the Room, What Was I?, comes from a line in Clarice Lispector’s mystical 1964 novel, The Passion According to G .H., where the main character asks herself this question as she’s having a transcendent and transformative internal experience in a sparsely decorated room. She answers, “I was what others had always seen me be, and that was how I knew myself.”
Brittany Miller (born 1990, Utica, New York) received a BFA and an MS from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. She has had solo exhibitions with Scott Miller Projects, Birmingham (2022) and Thierry Goldberg, New York (2022) and her work has also been presented in group exhibitions at Steve Turner, Los Angeles (2022); Untitled, Miami Beach (2022, with Steve Turner); The Fores Project, London (2022); Field Projects, New York (2021) and Deanna Evans Projects, Brooklyn, (2021). Miller also was the recipient of the Hopper Prize (2022). This is Miller’s debut solo exhibition with Steve Turner. Her work will next be featured in a three-person exhibition with Steve Turner, New York in June 2023.