review by Paul Hunter
Lynn Miller’s Elastic Signature is not an illustrated treatise on painting, nor a dissertation, much less a diatribe. It is a unique undertaking, private and personal, a meditation to accompany a miniature dance of process, of starting points and departures, a call and response in two disciplines that touches 40 years of the visual world seen and felt. This twofold book mingles drawings, paintings and images, with language, metaphors and words. The painter-writer offers a rare excursion that is both measured and abundant. The one art calls out to the other—paintings summon each other behind and ahead, as the calm yet definite voice conjures a thread of thought and feeling deftly and patiently set forth. The brush strokes work as another kind of writing, the reach and stretch of phrasing another kind of seeing, both in the service of a quiet, long-standing and substantial truth. The artist stands here amid his works, nodding to their diverse impulses and tangible achievements, emblems of an artful life. This compact, understated yet powerful book belongs in the hand and on the shelf of the lover of both painting and language, or else tucked into one’s travel kit. There is rare timing and music to Miller’s Elastic Signature, as well as affection and promise. The faith of its deeper rhythms like sounding whales break the surface when one least expects.