Robert Miller, art dealer and sometime-painter, died yesterday in Miami, the Robert Miller Gallery confirmed today. Miller got his start at the André Emmerich gallery in the 60s. After a dozen years there, the Robert Miller Gallery opened (in a partnership with his wife, Betsy) in 1977 at its first location, on Fifth Avenue.
At one time or another, the gallery represented and exhibited Lee Krasner, Louise Bourgeois, Joan Mitchell, Yayoi Kusama, Robert Mapplethorpe, Milton Resnick, Alice Neel, Patti Smith, Renee Cox, Bruce Weber; Alex Katz and Larry Rivers showed at the gallery; they hired future dealer John Cheim at the age of 24 (who now represents many of those artists); and he knew nearly every painter that worked in the period from 1960 to 1990. “It took five years for the gallery to develop its reputation for chic, for scholarly revisionism, for its careful selection of highly priced blue chip art, and for its disdain of the macho school of painting,” wrote New York magazine in 1988. The gallery bearing his name remains in its location in West Chelsea on West 26th Street.
Detail from a 1988 portrait by Louie Psihoyos.