Born in Yorkshire in 1964, Harland Miller studied at Chelsea School of Art, before traveling extensively in the USA and Europe. In New York he achieved early success and in the following years he travelled to New Orleans, Paris and Berlin, working as a writer and painter. In 2001, he started a series of paintings based on the covers of Penguin classic dust covers, combining Pop Art, Abstraction, and Figurative painting. The titles are often sardonic statements about life – and include the fabulous ‘Whitby – The Self Catering Years’, ‘Rags to Polyester – My Story’, ‘York, So Good They Named It Once’, ‘Incurable Romantic Seeks Dirty Filthy Whore’.
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In 2002 Harland was awarded the Writer in Residency post at the Institute For Contemporary Art, Boston, which led to the publishing of his first novel, the critically acclaimed ‘Slow Down Arthur, Stick to Thirty’, which features a young boy who travels around England on adventures with a David Bowie impersonator. In the same year he published ‘At First I was Afraid, I was Petrified’; a study of obsessive compulsive disorder, based on a hoard of hundreds of Polaroids found by the artist and taken by a relative of his, all of oven knobs, and all turned to “Off”.
Harland’s first major one-man show, ‘To Jean – A Small Memento of a Great Effort’, was held at the White Cube Gallery in 2003, and in 2009 he curated a group show at the White Cube, ‘You Dig The Tunnel, I’ll Hide The Soil’, combining both writing and painting, and commemorating the 200th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe.
Some of Harland’s other notable solo exhibitions include ‘Dear Son, This Is One Of The Last Of My Few Remaining Pre-Marital Possessions – Look After It Won’t You…Love Dad’, Marian Boesky Gallery, New York, ‘Don’t Let The Bastards Cheer You Up’, The Baltic Museum, – ‘I’ll Never Forget What I Can’t Remember’, The Reflex Gallery, Amsterdam.