|Venue||Adam Bray Gallery|
|Date(s)||22-31 Aug 1996|
The Dolce Visualis exhibition featured work by Mike Mills from his Visual Sampler project which was released by Mo' Wax.
The show toured London, New York, Sydney, and Tokyo through 1996. The show also toured the X-Large Store in Sydney, Australia in June 1997.
The opening for the show in New York drew 500 people, described as everyone "from skateboarders to the usual art-world suspects."
Some of the artwork was later produced on t-shirts for the MO’ WAX X MUSEUM NEU collaboration in 2014.
- Aug 17-Sep 7 - New York - Andrea Rosen Gallery
- Aug 22-31 - London - Adam Bray Gallery
- Oct 5-31 - Sydney - The TBA Gallery
- Oct 16-31 - Tokyo - Kyozon Vision Network
From Andrea Rosen Gallery.
Mike Mills is part of a new breed of creators to emerge in the 1990's. Spanning from designer/ art director/ filmmaker, his list of clients reads like a who's who of popular music and fashion culture. Past projects include record album covers and merchandise for bands such as Sonic Youth, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Beastie Boys, Beck, Boss Hog, Cibo Matto, and more. Mills has also created the entire graphic identity for X-Girl clothing, textile designs, graphics. As well, Mills has made films for Marc Jacobs. These are just a few of his projects that have helped to define contemporary graphic design.
London based Mo' Wax Records is set to release a Mike Mills "Visual Sampler" this summer. The "Visual Sampler" will be a series of prints, posters, stickers, etc., all packaged in a 12" record sleeve, an "Art Album" of sorts.
In conjunction with the release of this sampler, we are pleased to announce a special exhibition of original posters designed by Mills specifically for this project which, in this venue, will be contextualized within a large scale installation. This exhibition will serve to bring the world of fashion, music, fine art, film and design together in one environment, breaking down barriers between creative mediums in the gallery context. In addition, these posters conceptually twist their commercial roots, subverting popular notions of consumerism and design and mixing them up in a 20th Century cocktail.
Pre-release copies of the "Visual Sampler" will be available during the exhibition.
This exhibition is one of three exhibitions scheduled at Andrea Rosen Gallery within the next twelve months to continue to incorporate aspects of design into the gallery's program. Also scheduled: a one week installation by fashion designer, Tracy Feith from December 11 through December 18, and a show of industrial design scheduled for early summer 1997.
In the Mo Wax 21 Book Mike Mills provides the following statement regarding the Dolce Visualis exhibition:
I did the Visual Sampler with Mo' Wax way back in 1996 — a 12" sleeve filled with posters, stickers, etc. I wanted to be signed like a band, but release visual materials that were sold in the more 'pop' context of a record store, not the 'high-art' context of a gallery. We continued the 'band' metaphor by organizing a tour of art shows with Aaron Rose, we ended up having shows in New York, London, Tokyo, and Sydney.
Looking back, it was like some other experiences I had at that time which now seem like a particularly 1990s cultural moment. It was a time filled with young entrepreneurs that I was working with—the Beastie Boys had Grand Royal, Kim and Daisy had X-Girl, Chris Pastras had Stereo Skateboards, Aaron Rose was doing Alleged Gallery—all people who were not trained in business, but who knew that creative control and being able to be creatively subversive were intermingled with having working control over what you make. Also, I think there was an idea in the air that having a peaceful, karmically decent working life kind of meant you just had to start your own company. And lastly, there was this populist vibe in the air, people who came from different countercultural backgrounds—punk, hip hop, skating, graffiti, etc —felt the limitations of their original scenes and were interested in playing in larger, more commercial venues, seeing how far they could subvert them make them their own.
To me, Mo' Wax is intertwined with that 1990s sort of outsider entreprenurial culture, which I think was very powerful and new. Obviously they put out a lot of great work, but what's really unique to me is that it was run by people who were not any different than the artists they promoted, and they created a work world that ensured their lives would be fun, decent to others, and about freedom more than business.