Karen Mills’ landscapes: Abstract, remembered, political

Karen Mills calls her eloquent paintings, ‘abstract remembered landscapes.’ In her work she studies the space around things, as she puts it, the shapes, lines, colours—which is to say anything but space—around things like a tree, branch, flower. What fills the air, or ‘a pause’ is not nothing; ‘nothing comes from nothing,’ to quote Fred Moten in his essay on the work of African-American artist Thornton Dial, who, like Mills, gives attention to discarded people and things in his  monumental assemblages. Both Mills and Dial cut across the metaphysics of possession and dispossession. But where Dial’s work has poised reverence and is dedicated to the minds of Black steel workers, Mills’ attends to the ecology of memory. Her dedication is to place.

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