Adele Mills: Four Acts and a Landscape
Over the last decade Adele Mills has honed a technique of combining photography, painting and digital rendering to produce abstract and figurative work with a structural layering, where one image is viewed through the transparency of a second image.
Four acts and a landscape is comprised of mixed media objects that employ prints on fabric in a shadow-box format. This exhibition is the artist’s first solo show in the United States and her first with the gallery.
The signature gap between the layers in her work creates a displacement of colors, shape and composition and produces doublings, fadings and seeming movement, as aspects of the image are activated through the shifting perspective of the viewer. Two dimensional images come alive through her rigorous study and precise placement of moire patterns, creating a unique vibrational exchange as the artwork is approached and regarded from different view points and distances.
Her latest body of work, four acts and a landscape, is inspired by the space of the theatrical stage and is loosely connected to the subject matter in The Seagull, a play by Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov. Mills draws upon elements of stage design, riffing off of structural elements like the curtains used to mask off portions of a stage which alter the dimensions of a production. With each of her works, Mills creates her own intimate theater by layering prints on fabric over printed backdrops. Hers is a breathable space where a vibrant visual production of her own design is enacted. Sometimes that space comes alive with rhythmic suggestions of performers and set pieces at the climax of a play. Conversely, that space can be absent of activity, a quiet series of screens and shadows between acts. In both scenarios, there is an anticipatory tension, a sense of passing time and a feeling of wonder that are peculiar to the artist’s chosen medium.
Adele Mills earned her MFA from CalArts in 2003 and was a research scholar at UCLA’s Center for the Study of Women from 2005 to 2007. She lives and works in Los Angeles.