Project Description

The visceral quality of Miller’s drawings has been much remarked upon; the energetic nature of his repeated gestures generates a dramatic tensile power. While so much energy may seem difficult to control—always on the verge of explosion or collapse—Miller deftly keeps disaster at bay, always leaving some white space open to breathe like a safety valve.

Miller has been attending the Creative Growth Art Center (a non-profit visual arts organization that serves adult artists with developmental, mental, and physical disabilities) for over 30 years. Diagnosed with autism and possessing few conventional verbal communication skills, Miller has developed an intense body of work that employs language as its fundamental subject and departure-point. His extraordinary drawings take the form of accumulations of descriptive texts, alphabets, and numerical sequences. The texts often have strong biographical references; for example, acknowledging specific Bay Area locales and aspects of his immediate day-to-day life or family history. Typically superimposed in layers, these individual words, numbers, and phrases begin to merge, creating allover fields of partially obscured and often illegible texts.

Juxtaposing formal methodologies with dynamic, yet highly disciplined drawing and mark-making, Miller’s drawings intuitively combine both conceptual and expressive approaches to create a truly idiosyncratic hybrid form. His best work achieves a clattering poetry of infinite discrimination. Miller’s work was shown in “Glossolalia: Languages of Drawing” (2008) at the Museum of Modern Art. His work is also in the permanent collection at MoMA and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.


Whitewall by Kristin Sancken
Hyperallergic by Melissa Stern
Artnet by N.F. Karlins
Time Out New York by Anne Doran


Creative Growth, 2014
Large Drawings, 2010


Dan Miller, Large Paintings by Michael Hall