African mask, covid-19 mask
Aquired directly from the artist
Algernon Miller is a pioneering figure of Afrofuturist art. Educated at the School of Visual Arts (1965-67) and The New School (1967-68) during America’s cultural revolution, Miller’s Downtown art world included happenings and Pop, Fluxus and Warhol films, the Beat poets and jazz. Uptown, he absorbed African drumming, African-American dance, and Afrocentric fashion. At Slug’s Saloon on East 3rd Street, Miller was among the prominent artists, musicians, writers, and celebrities who gathered on Monday nights to hear the Afrofuturist jazz of Sun Ra. Inspired by Sun Ra’s cosmic grooves, Miller evolved what he calls a “transformationist” consciousness that synthesized Past, Present, and Future. His Present embraced cutting-edge technology and spirituality, and he envisaged an alternative future that transcended the alienation of race-based identity, while remaining “hooked into” his African heritage. These defining elements of Afrofuturism continue to resonate in his work.
His exhibitions include Algernon Miller: Time Being, Wilmer Jennings Gallery at Kenkeleba, New York (2019); Liquid State, Axis Gallery, NY and Harlem Postcards: Summer 2017, The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY (both 2017); RESPOND, Smack Mellon Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (2015); Sun Ra Space Place, Salon 94 Project Room, NY (2014); i can do dat - Contemporary Abstract Art, Rush Arts Gallery, NY (2013); Roads To Equality, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY (2012); The Global Africa Project, Museum of Arts and Design, NYC (2010-2011).