Harland Miller’s Largest Solo Exhibition Announced

You can click here to view our currently available editions and originals by the artist.

British favourite Harland Miller is set to present his largest solo exhibition to date at York Art Gallery next month. The show titled 'York, So Good They Named It Once' will feature new and existing works by the acclaimed artist including perhaps Miller’s best-known series; the ‘Penguin Book Covers’ and ‘Pelican Bad Weather Paintings’.  


York So Goo They Named It Once, 2009, oil on canvas. 


Miller was born in York in 1964 and both his series ‘Penguin Book Covers’ and the ‘Pelican Bad Weather Paintings’ directly refer to the artist’s relationship to York where he grew up, as well as making wider references to the culture and geography of Yorkshire as a whole. 

Works from the artist's 'Letter painting' series on display at White Cube, Hong Kong.  


In addition to the now classic and much-loved dust jacket paintings, the show will include works from his recent ‘Letter Painting’ series; canvases made up of overlaid letters to form short words or acronyms in a format that references the layout of book covers from the '60s and ‘70s. Each painting has a band at the bottom with Miller's name as the author and the painting’s title, featuring words such as 'ace' or 'luv.' His inspiration for the 'Letter Paintings' were the graphics of post-war psychology books and paintings, and the format for the paintings was inspired by Medieval manuscripts.


Fuck Art, Let's Dance, 2011, screen print on paper. Sold as diptych.  

As well as being an artist, Miller is also a critically acclaimed novelist and has previously stated, “There’s always been this compunction to write on pictures.” His artworks marry his two passions by creating large-scale realistic images of vintage dust jackets, which he invents his own satirical and often cynical titles for. The Yorkshire-born artist made his mark in the late 1990s with his Penguin series, which have been taken to heart by his followers. The fictitious titles are “wittily deadpan, punkish and aphoristic”, comments the novelist Michael Bracewell.

Thought After Filthy Thought and In Shadows I Boogie, 2019,Etchings with relief printing on paper. 

Miller himself says: “I’ve discovered that people take the titles personally. In fact, they write to me, telling me what they mean to them.” Art critic Martin Herbert has analysed how the artist uses humour, astutely noting that “part of the cleverness of Miller’s work is that his art continues working, via mnemonics, when the viewer is not in front of it: it runs through one’s head like music does.”



You can click here to view our currently available editions and originals by the artist or don't hesitate to get in touch to request the latest catalogue. 'York, So Good They Named It Once' will be on at York Art Gallery from the 14th of February through to the 31st of May. As always, thank you for reading this week's blog. 


Till next time,

Hang-Up Team 



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