Harland Miller’s Tonight We Make History is an etching with silver chine colle. It is signed in pencil on the front and numbered from an edition of 50 in pencil verso. This etching is part of Miller’s Penguin series.
Artist and author Harland Miller’s practice focuses on the complex relationship between language and image in his multimedia works, sculptures and paintings. He draws inspiration from Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha and Anselm Kiefer. With a lifelong fascination with literature and having initially become famous as an author, Miller has integrated literature and the written word into his visual practice as well, interested in seminal authors like Ernest Hemingway and Edgar Allan Poe.
In his iconic Penguin series, he appropriates the well-known design of Penguin book covers and inserts his own fictitious titles described as “wittily deadpan, punkish and aphoristic” by novelist Michael Bracewell. Examples are The Me I Never Knew or Death What's In It For Me?. Mark Rothko’s Colour Paintings are a huge influence for this series in their use of colour to influence their viewer’s emotions and engagement with the work – Miller chooses the background colours for individual works from this series on a similar basis, exploring the psychological associations of various palettes. Tonight We Make History is an example of Miller’s tongue-in-cheek sense of humour and his experimentation with etching as medium.The title can be seen against a bright yellow background, which gives the work a cheerful, light-hearted air.