Nachume Miller

Nachume Miller (1949–1998) was a German born artist who immigrated to New York City in 1974, where he made a name for himself in the American Modern Art scene.
Nachume Miller

Born in Frankfurt, Germany
January 28, 1949

Miller’s parents were both Holocaust survivors. They were separated from each other during World War II; his father was a captain on the front lines of the Russian Army and his mother took refuge with a Christian family in Lithuania. Both eventually escaped the Nazis, re-united in Germany, and fled to Israel. Nachume was born during their voyage, in Frankfurt, Germany, on January 28, 1949. He grew up in the town of Holon, Israel. 

As a child, Miller excelled in painting. He was inspired by his father, who spent most of his days carving wood sculptures of Cubist human forms. By the age of 16, Miller was painting elaborate surreal landscapes referencing religion, politics, and the history of modern art. These earlier works show similarities to Hieronymus Bosch, Salvador Dalí, and Francisco Goya. He was enlisted in the Israeli Army and fought in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. That same year, he received a scholarship from the Israeli-American Cultural Foundation. He married his girlfriend Ruth and moved to New York to study at the School of Visual Arts. In 1977, he joined the faculty to teach painting and drawing.

Over the next two decades, Nachume was prolific in the range of media, styles, and references he incorporated into his art. His paintings and three-dimensional works pay homage to artists throughout history, from the classical Greeks to Rauschenberg.He prioritized craft over concept and was a disciplined painter, never neglecting workmanship in favor of a trend. His work is marked with curiosity, sincerity and intensity. 

Towards the end of his life, Nachume battled cancer. He passed away at the age of 49, survived by his beloved wife and three sons. Despite what he endured, however, the paintings from these years never demonstrate despair or remorse. Instead, as in all of his work, they maintain a brave optimism that celebrates the vastness and mystery of life.

Solo Exhibitions

1995
E.M. Donahue Gallery, New York City
1994
1993
1990
1989
1988
1988
1981
1976

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

1996
Contemporary Directions/Jacqueline Holmes, The Haskell Building, Jacksonville, FL
1996
"A Chaos of Delight", Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts
1996
"Microcosmos", The University of Georgia, Athens, GA
1995
"Pure Painting", Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, CO
1995
Art Fractal, Galerie Angle Art Contemporain, Drome Pro Vencole, France
1995
"Le Temps D'un Dessin", Galerie De Lecole Des Beaux De Lorient, France
1995
"Fractal Complexity", Galleria Art, Turino, Italy
1995
Group Show, Gallery Karin Sachs, Munich, Germany
1994
"Tohu Bohu" / Esthetiques de la Complexite Fractale, Galerie De L'Etoile, Paris, France
1993
Summer Group Show, E.M. Donahue Gallery, New York City
1992
The Artists Museum, New York City
1992
Color as a Subject, Tibor De Nagy, New York City
1992
Brattleboro Museum of Art, VT
1991
Tibor De Nagy Working with Wax, New York City
1991
The New York Academy of Art, Expressive Drawings
1991
Jean Spedden Gallery, Charlston, S.C.
1990
Summer Group, E.M. Donahue Gallery, New York City
1989
"The Spectacle of Chaos", Chicago, IL
1989
"The Dark Sublime", Scott Allan Gallery, New York City
1989
Group Show, The Butler Institute, OH
1989
Summer 89', E.M. Donahue Gallery, New York City
1989
Landscape, Tibor De Nagy Gallery, New York City
1988
Summer Group Show, David Beitzel Gallery, New York City
1988
Drawing Show, Tomoko Ligouri Gallery, New York City
1988
"New Visions of the Apocalypse", Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, RI
1988
Group Show, Tibor De Nagy Gallery, New York City
1986
Exit Art, New York City Consensus
1986
Group Art, Barbara Toll Gallery, New York City
1985
Exit Art, Group Show, New York City
1985
Hallwalls, Buffalo, New York City
1983
"Short Memory", Artra Studio, Milan, Italy
1983
"Lace", New York - Los Angeles Exchange, Los Angeles, CA
1982
"New Drawings in America", The Drawing Center, New York City
1982
"Critical Perspective", P.S.1, New York City
1982
"Four Painters", Roger Litz Gallery, New York City
1982
"Summer Show", Roger Litz Gallery, New York City
1982
"The Americans: The Collage", Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, TX
1982
Group Show, Susan Caldwell Gallery, NYC
1980
"Exaggeration", Edward Thorp Gallery, New York City
1978
"Young American Artists", Exxon National, Guggenheim Museum, New York City
1975
"Group Indiscriminate", 112 Greene Street, New York City

Milestones

January 28, 1949 - Frankfurt, Germany

On January 28, 1949, Nachume was born to parents Arieh and Frida Miller in Frankfurt, Germany.

January, 1974

Nachume leaves Israel for America, where he receives a scholarship to New York's School of Visual Arts.

Arrival in America - 1974

Nachume and his wife Ruth arrive in New York City. Nachume enrolls in a scholarship program at School of Visual Arts funded by the The Israeli-American cultural foundation.

Guggenheim - 1978 Exxon National Exhibition

Nachume becomes one of the youngest artists to show at the Guggenheim.

November 14, 1979

Nachume's first child, Matthew, is born.

February 21st, 1982

Nachume's second child, Danny, is born

MoMa Projects Exhibition, 1988

In the fall of 1988, Nachume Miller held a one-person exhibition, Project, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Cara McCarty, the exhibition curator, expatiated on the abstract aspect of his paintings, and emphasized the fact that the gestures of line that move through these canvases with intense force are not there for their own sake, but always describe form - 'form in an extreme state of flux'.