March 22 - April 4, 2002
Peter Miller
one-person exhibition
of photogravures
Kosokuji (Ume),1993
5" x 4"
Juntei Mon, 1998
7" x 6"
Daibutsu, 1992
7" x 6"
Kosokuji (roof), 1993
6" x 7"
Peter Miller is American artist living in Japan for many years.
"I had done conventional photography for many years, since childhood. In Japan I joined the All-Japan Mountain Photographers Association, the only foreign member. But I thought there is something missing from the conventional photo, as an object. Then in New York in 1989, I saw some 19th-century photogravures done by Peter Henry Emerson, an American in England. These had a depth and tonal subtlety, the ink-on-paper tactile quality of an etching that I was unconsciously looking for. This struck me as a sort of revelation, what I wanted to do. Of course, actually doing it was extremely difficult, as I had no knowledge of the photogravure printmaking process, and no teacher. From my consulting experience in the printing industry, though, I knew a little about the use of ultra-violet light to expose printing plates. So I found some books and articles about the 19th-century photogravure process, and taught myself how to do it. It took one year of experiments, trial-and-error. It was a huge risk, as I ended the consulting business, so there was no income, while buying a lot of equipment and doing theseexperiments in my workshop. But after a while it worked out all right. There were exhibits and sales. Something about the technique lends itself to Japanese imagery -- the black-and-white perhaps similar to ink-brush painting, the simplicity and tonal subtlety. The photogravure technique itself was never practiced in Japan, though there is a tradition of Japanese etching. But my style is perhaps more Japanese in its way of seeing than in the medium I practice. My prints are in the permanent collection of the Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian, which is the US national museum of Asian art. In recent years I have tried to extend the Japanese perspective that occurs in my prints to scenes outside of Japan."
To see more works by Peter Miller visit his Web Site
Snow country, 1996
14" x 11"
Hasedera, 1997
8" x 11"
No way, 1996
11" x 8"
Bamboo Story, 1996
11" x 13"
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