The Lowe Art Museum is pleased to announce the exhibition, Order Up! The Pop Art of John Miller, which opens October 27, 2023, and will be on view through January 13, 2024.
This solo exhibition includes thirty-five pieces of Miller’s oversized glass sculptures of food, drinks, and condiments, contextualized by 1950s diner fixtures and fittings. Inspired by the Pop Art movement of the 1960s—including Claes Oldenburg’s whimsical soft sculptures of everyday objects— as well as the artist’s own memories of visiting diners near his father’s motorcycle dealership, Miller builds upon a lineage of Pop Art with his brightly colored glasswork.
The artist’s oeuvre spans several series ranging from colorful vessels enveloped in copper (Corsets) and ornate goblets (The Gathering) to oversized tools, automotive parts, and hood ornaments (Do Not Duplicate and Classic Heat). What remains constant throughout his practice is Miller’s technical mastery, poignant nostalgia for his working-class roots, and reverence for mid-20th-century Americana, including drive-ins, neon signs, and the diner near his father’s motorcycle dealership he frequented growing up. Created between 2014 and 2023, these sculptures are “comfort foods,” both literally and metaphorically; they are intended to be accessible to all, whatever one’s level of experience or familiarity with art.
Lowe Curator Caitlin Swindell notes, “this exhibition has been an exciting endeavor, and a pleasure to engage directly with the artist, whose enthusiasm extends to his creative process, the completed artworks, and the joy he aims to evoke in viewers. The only downside of working on this project is that every time I look at the images or write a label, for example, I am immediately hungry and ready for lunch!”
The Lowe’s long-standing patron and pre-eminent glass collector Sheldon Palley (B.B.A ’56, J.D. ’57) expressed delight that he and his daughter Lisa were able to help to realize the show. Palley continued: “Order Up! both highlights the individual skills and ideas of John Miller, an artist we have long supported, and a key sentiment at the core of our collecting: glass is a fine art medium that can be accessible to all.” The Palley family has purchased the glass sculpture of a potato chip bag and ridged potato chips for the Lowe. In honor of Myrna and Sheldon Palley, the bag bears the name: “M & S Palley Chip Co. est. 1956.” A significant theme in the exhibition is Miller’s engagement with the lineage of Pop Art today. Miller’s use of Palley as a brand alludes to the prominence of sign painting, billboards, and advertising, which were distinctive features of the Pop Art movement.
This exhibition was curated by Caitlin Swindell and organized by the Lowe Art Museum.Order Up! The Pop Art of John Miller was made possible by the Palley Family. Additional funding was provided by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts; the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; the City of Coral Gables; Beaux Arts Miami; and Lowe members.
Learn more about Order Up! The Pop Art of John Miller at https://www.lowe.miami.edu.