In Shadows I Boogie is a signed etching in colours produced by the renowned British artist and writer Harland Miller in 2019. Coming in an edition size of 75, the print shows the front cover of a book titled ‘In Shadows I Boogie’. Below the title which is written in black, capital letters at the top left of the composition, Miller adds his own name in a smaller, red font, in the place where one would expect to find the author of the book’s name. In this print, Miller blurs the distinction between art and literature which reflects the artist’s own dual career as a writer and painter. The text is set against a colourful backdrop composed of loose and thick brushstrokes. Spring greens, pinks and blues dominate the composition which resonates strongly with the artworks of Abstract Expressionist painters.
Abstract Expressionism, an art movement which developed in the 1940s and 1950s in America, had a strong influence on the development of Miller’s artistic style and In Shadows I Boogie in one of Miller’s prints that best captures the impact this movement had on his visual style. Abstract Expressionism is characterised by gestural brushstrokes, mark-making and a loose and free style which favours spontaneity over precision. The book cover produced by Miller in this print features many of these stylistic elements.
Abstract Expressionist artists who had a large impact on Miller were Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. This print differs from many of Miller’s other prints that depict book covers as he departs from the simple, Penguin format, to experiment more with colour and technique.