Anne Minich

January 23–March 7, 2020 East Gallery
Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (An installation view where a large sculptural painting resembling an altarpiece stands between two columns in the middle of a room. Six paintings can be seen on the walls behind: two on the right wall, and four on the back wall.)

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020.

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (A section of a room with five works installed- three on the right wall and two on the left wall. Many of the works break the conventional rectangular format and incorporate or are entirely made of altered found objects.) 

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (Three works installed on a wall. WOOD TORSO, The work to the left is a small found object, a piece of wood resembling a female torso. The next work, EL JUANITA AND THE DREAM, loosely resembles an altarpiece with an elaborate frame constructed of found objects; in the frame is a painting of an aged plaster wall and two small drawings  - one drawing depicts Mary and Jesus, and the other a man lying down – both rendered in a classical style. Above these is an arched panel with a drawing of the back of a reclining figure draped with fabric. The third work to the right is AT 17TH ST. NYC, a framed self portrait of the artist, an older woman with white hair wearing a tank top with her hands behind her head.)

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (The work ROYAL PALMS installed on a wall. A sculptural painting with a black frame resembling the entrance to a church with doors open, revealing the scene behind. The image in the center depicts a room occupied by three figures holding up a large cloth surrounding a woman that appears to be submerged in water up to her chest. Above this room hovers a blue sky and four palm trees.)

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (Three works installed on a wall. On the left is TWO POETS, ONE MARRIAGE; A DELICATE CONSTRUCTION, a painting bisected with a line drawing of the same room on either side. There are slight variations between the drawings, including a rock embedded in the drawing to the right, and a branch embedded in the drawing to the left. The phrase “life and death in a salt marsh” is written in all capitals across the middle of the painting. The painting is surrounded by a simple frame decorated with found objects like seashells. The work in the center is REFRAMED STUDIO,  a painting depicting a room with the phrase “reframed studio” written in all capitals on the left wall. The bottom of this wall rolls out like paper onto a tiled floor covered in a pink rug. The work is framed in found wood with a seashell resting on the lower part of the frame. The work on the right is RED CHEST, Empty Studio, a painting depicting a room with a bright red chest in the center, on which a mirror is propped. The words "empty studio" float above the chest in all caps, and a small "awareness" ribbon hangs above the scene. The painting's elaborate frame includes drawings of soft pink brick archways and a row or jagged rocks at the top.)

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (Five works installed in a row on a wall. Many of the works have unconventional framing and found objects fixed on them.) 

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (Three works installed on a wall. From left to right, the works are titled: OUR LADY’S LILY, Split, (2015) BEACHED, My Little Red Boat, (2015-2020), and LONE RANGER, (2015-2020). All three of these works have a visual motif of a small boat, like a canoe, against a gridded background and incorporate one or two small glass and metal found objects each.)

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (Five works installed on a wall in a row.) 

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (An artwork modeled after a triptych altarpiece embellished with seashells, framing five figurative drawings rendered in a classical style; the outermost drawings depict nude men, one younger holding a cloth, the other older holding a cane, standing in front of a pink lattice. The 3 central drawings depict faceless female figures contorted to the poses of classic sculpture and a central figure in a Christ-like repose, also in front of pink lattice. Above all of these there is a small round drawing of a young person in a baseball cap.)

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020

Anne Minich SEATPIECE, 2018 Oil on wood, shell, and found frame 15.5 x 16.75 in. (A painting in the form of  aseat cushion framed in wood and hung on a wall. The painting is a soft pink with thin red lines creating a diagonal grid. In the center is the phrase “to the memory of all those who have sat before me” in written all capitals with a seashell embedded below it.)

Anne Minich

SEATPIECE, 2018

Oil on wood, shell, and found frame

15.5 × 16.75 in.

Anne Minich BEACHED, My Little Red Boat, 2015 Oil on birch ply 31.5 x 41.5 in. (A painting depicting a small red shape resembling a boat, seemingly hanging by a string, in the center. Above the boat is a Trompe-l'œil rendering of a small piece of paper, on which the word “Beached” is written, fixed to the surface with blue tape. The scene is framed in a thick black border, at the bottom of which the phrase “my little red boat” is inscribed in all capitals.)

Anne Minich

BEACHED, My Little Red Boat, 2015

Oil on birch ply

31.5 × 41.5 in.

Anne Minich M' HAND, 2015 Graphite, colored pencil on paper 19.5 x 16.25 in. (A drawing of a cropped nude midsection with the genital obscured by a dark shadow. Above the body, a small hand in red open hand on top of the drawing of the body pointed downward, with the middle finger just touching the body.)

Anne Minich

M’ HAND, 2015

Graphite, colored pencil on paper

19.5 × 16.25 in.

Press Release

White Columns is pleased to present a solo exhibition by the Philadelphia-based artist Anne Minich (b. 1932, Philadelphia, PA.) Taking the form of a partial survey of Minich’s work produced over the past four decades, the exhibition will be the first focused presentation of her work in New York since the late 1980s.

Highly idiosyncratic, and often employing a form of colloquial humor, Minich’s exquisitely constructed and painted works often incorporate religious iconography to explore her preoccupying concerns of gender, sexuality, friendship and mortality. Like the work of her peer Ree Morton, much of Minich’s work is autobiographical in nature and sculptural in approach incorporating found objects and text. The works on display at White Columns include portraits of her children (‘STARS’, late 1970s – 2020), self-portraits (‘AT 17TH ST. NYC’, 1989-2014, and ‘ROYAL PALMS’, 1980), and allusions to her late friends, the artist Juan Gonzalez (‘EL JUANITA AND THE DREAM’, 1991-1992) and the collector Baldwin Fong (‘THE FLIGHT OF BLUE HEART’, 1992-1999.)

Working in discrete but related series, throughout her career Minich has often revisited, altered and amended her earlier works, creating in turn ‘new’ updated works that reflect upon the evolving and unfolding narrative of her own life. (The work ‘PINKIE (Towards 80)’, 2014, created around the time of her 80th birthday incorporates eighty shell fragments embedded into its surface. Minich has been engaged in this process of “marking her age with paintings” since turning fifty in 1982.)

Minich attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1954-55, but abandoned her studies after two years to raise a family. Though she never entirely ceased to make art, this period was the beginning of what Minich has described as her “lost” years. In the late 1960s Minich and her family relocated to Florida, where she enrolled at the University of Miami, Coral Gables at the age of 35. There she was “able to think seriously about making art again and realizing that that was what I needed to do.”

Returning to the studio in her 30s Minich was able to make decisions about her approach to making art and to her subject matter that she felt she wouldn’t have been in a position to do at an earlier age. Minich exhibited the resulting works publicly for the first time in 1973 at the Fort Lauderdale Museum of the Arts, Florida, and in exhibitions in Miami, Palm Beach and Atlanta where she “experienced censorship and resistance” to her subject matter, which she suggests ultimately proved to be a good thing as it helped her “to dig my heels in!” Minich subsequently moved to New York in the early 1970s before returning to Philadelphia in the 1980s, where she supported both herself and her practice by working in an art supply store.

Unabashedly invested in the potential of the “decorative” Minich’s formally extraordinary and gently subversive work should be far better known. Reflecting on her approach Minich has said, “The work is mostly instinctual; I haven’t developed ideas from formal theories; the biggest influence may be the “outsiders” who, for practical reasons, used whatever was at hand. A lot of my practice developed from using severe financial constraints as a challenge for making good art.”

Anne Minich’s work has been included in recent group exhibitions at Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia, and Jack Barrett Gallery, New York, among others. Her work was the subject of paired solo exhibitions at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia in 2017. Parallel to her White Columns exhibition Minich’s work is currently on view in a two-person presentation at Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral. Minich’s work is held at a number of public collections including the Walker Gallery, Bowdoin College; Bryn Mawr College Special Collection; and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, among others.

Anne Minich would like to dedicate this exhibition to Baldwin Fong, Frances Cohen Gillespie, and Juan Gonzalez.

White Columns would like to thank Caitlin McBride and Ezra Tessler for introducing us to Anne’s work.

For further information, contact: info@whitecolumns.org

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (An installation view where a large sculptural painting resembling an altarpiece stands between two columns in the middle of a room. Six paintings can be seen on the walls behind: two on the right wall, and four on the back wall.)
Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (A section of a room with five works installed- three on the right wall and two on the left wall. Many of the works break the conventional rectangular format and incorporate or are entirely made of altered found objects.) 
Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (Three works installed on a wall. WOOD TORSO, The work to the left is a small found object, a piece of wood resembling a female torso. The next work, EL JUANITA AND THE DREAM, loosely resembles an altarpiece with an elaborate frame constructed of found objects; in the frame is a painting of an aged plaster wall and two small drawings  - one drawing depicts Mary and Jesus, and the other a man lying down – both rendered in a classical style. Above these is an arched panel with a drawing of the back of a reclining figure draped with fabric. The third work to the right is AT 17TH ST. NYC, a framed self portrait of the artist, an older woman with white hair wearing a tank top with her hands behind her head.)
Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (The work ROYAL PALMS installed on a wall. A sculptural painting with a black frame resembling the entrance to a church with doors open, revealing the scene behind. The image in the center depicts a room occupied by three figures holding up a large cloth surrounding a woman that appears to be submerged in water up to her chest. Above this room hovers a blue sky and four palm trees.)
Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (Three works installed on a wall. On the left is TWO POETS, ONE MARRIAGE; A DELICATE CONSTRUCTION, a painting bisected with a line drawing of the same room on either side. There are slight variations between the drawings, including a rock embedded in the drawing to the right, and a branch embedded in the drawing to the left. The phrase “life and death in a salt marsh” is written in all capitals across the middle of the painting. The painting is surrounded by a simple frame decorated with found objects like seashells. The work in the center is REFRAMED STUDIO,  a painting depicting a room with the phrase “reframed studio” written in all capitals on the left wall. The bottom of this wall rolls out like paper onto a tiled floor covered in a pink rug. The work is framed in found wood with a seashell resting on the lower part of the frame. The work on the right is RED CHEST, Empty Studio, a painting depicting a room with a bright red chest in the center, on which a mirror is propped. The words "empty studio" float above the chest in all caps, and a small "awareness" ribbon hangs above the scene. The painting's elaborate frame includes drawings of soft pink brick archways and a row or jagged rocks at the top.)
Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (Five works installed in a row on a wall. Many of the works have unconventional framing and found objects fixed on them.) 
Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (Three works installed on a wall. From left to right, the works are titled: OUR LADY’S LILY, Split, (2015) BEACHED, My Little Red Boat, (2015-2020), and LONE RANGER, (2015-2020). All three of these works have a visual motif of a small boat, like a canoe, against a gridded background and incorporate one or two small glass and metal found objects each.)
Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (Five works installed on a wall in a row.) 
Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (An artwork modeled after a triptych altarpiece embellished with seashells, framing five figurative drawings rendered in a classical style; the outermost drawings depict nude men, one younger holding a cloth, the other older holding a cane, standing in front of a pink lattice. The 3 central drawings depict faceless female figures contorted to the poses of classic sculpture and a central figure in a Christ-like repose, also in front of pink lattice. Above all of these there is a small round drawing of a young person in a baseball cap.)
Anne Minich SEATPIECE, 2018 Oil on wood, shell, and found frame 15.5 x 16.75 in. (A painting in the form of  aseat cushion framed in wood and hung on a wall. The painting is a soft pink with thin red lines creating a diagonal grid. In the center is the phrase “to the memory of all those who have sat before me” in written all capitals with a seashell embedded below it.)
Anne Minich BEACHED, My Little Red Boat, 2015 Oil on birch ply 31.5 x 41.5 in. (A painting depicting a small red shape resembling a boat, seemingly hanging by a string, in the center. Above the boat is a Trompe-l'œil rendering of a small piece of paper, on which the word “Beached” is written, fixed to the surface with blue tape. The scene is framed in a thick black border, at the bottom of which the phrase “my little red boat” is inscribed in all capitals.)
Anne Minich M' HAND, 2015 Graphite, colored pencil on paper 19.5 x 16.25 in. (A drawing of a cropped nude midsection with the genital obscured by a dark shadow. Above the body, a small hand in red open hand on top of the drawing of the body pointed downward, with the middle finger just touching the body.)

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (An installation view where a large sculptural painting resembling an altarpiece stands between two columns in the middle of a room. Six paintings can be seen on the walls behind: two on the right wall, and four on the back wall.)

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (A section of a room with five works installed- three on the right wall and two on the left wall. Many of the works break the conventional rectangular format and incorporate or are entirely made of altered found objects.)

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (Three works installed on a wall. WOOD TORSO, The work to the left is a small found object, a piece of wood resembling a female torso. The next work, EL JUANITA AND THE DREAM, loosely resembles an altarpiece with an elaborate frame constructed of found objects; in the frame is a painting of an aged plaster wall and two small drawings  – one drawing depicts Mary and Jesus, and the other a man lying down – both rendered in a classical style. Above these is an arched panel with a drawing of the back of a reclining figure draped with fabric. The third work to the right is AT 17TH ST. NYC, a framed self portrait of the artist, an older woman with white hair wearing a tank top with her hands behind her head.)

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (The work ROYAL PALMS installed on a wall. A sculptural painting with a black frame resembling the entrance to a church with doors open, revealing the scene behind. The image in the center depicts a room occupied by three figures holding up a large cloth surrounding a woman that appears to be submerged in water up to her chest. Above this room hovers a blue sky and four palm trees.)

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (Three works installed on a wall. On the left is TWO POETS, ONE MARRIAGE; A DELICATE CONSTRUCTION, a painting bisected with a line drawing of the same room on either side. There are slight variations between the drawings, including a rock embedded in the drawing to the right, and a branch embedded in the drawing to the left. The phrase “life and death in a salt marsh” is written in all capitals across the middle of the painting. The painting is surrounded by a simple frame decorated with found objects like seashells. The work in the center is REFRAMED STUDIO,  a painting depicting a room with the phrase “reframed studio” written in all capitals on the left wall. The bottom of this wall rolls out like paper onto a tiled floor covered in a pink rug. The work is framed in found wood with a seashell resting on the lower part of the frame. The work on the right is RED CHEST, Empty Studio, a painting depicting a room with a bright red chest in the center, on which a mirror is propped. The words “empty studio” float above the chest in all caps, and a small “awareness” ribbon hangs above the scene. The painting’s elaborate frame includes drawings of soft pink brick archways and a row or jagged rocks at the top.)

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (Five works installed in a row on a wall. Many of the works have unconventional framing and found objects fixed on them.)

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (Three works installed on a wall. From left to right, the works are titled: OUR LADY’S LILY, Split, (2015) BEACHED, My Little Red Boat, (2015-2020), and LONE RANGER, (2015-2020). All three of these works have a visual motif of a small boat, like a canoe, against a gridded background and incorporate one or two small glass and metal found objects each.)

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (Five works installed on a wall in a row.)

Anne Minich, installation view, 2020. (An artwork modeled after a triptych altarpiece embellished with seashells, framing five figurative drawings rendered in a classical style; the outermost drawings depict nude men, one younger holding a cloth, the other older holding a cane, standing in front of a pink lattice. The 3 central drawings depict faceless female figures contorted to the poses of classic sculpture and a central figure in a Christ-like repose, also in front of pink lattice. Above all of these there is a small round drawing of a young person in a baseball cap.)

Anne Minich SEATPIECE, 2018 Oil on wood, shell, and found frame 15.5 × 16.75 in. (A painting in the form of  aseat cushion framed in wood and hung on a wallThe painting is a soft pink with thin red lines creating a diagonal grid. In the center is the phrase “to the memory of all those who have sat before me” in written all capitals with a seashell embedded below it.)

Anne Minich BEACHED, My Little Red Boat, 2015 Oil on birch ply 31.5 × 41.5 in. (A painting depicting a small red shape resembling a boat, seemingly hanging by a string, in the center. Above the boat is a Trompe-l’œil rendering of a small piece of paper, on which the word “Beached” is written, fixed to the surface with blue tape. The scene is framed in a thick black border, at the bottom of which the phrase “my little red boat” is inscribed in all capitals.)

Anne Minich M’ HAND, 2015 Graphite, colored pencil on paper 19.5 × 16.25 in. (A drawing of a cropped nude midsection with the genital obscured by a dark shadow. Above the body, a small hand in red open hand on top of the drawing of the body pointed downward, with the middle finger just touching the body.)