Process Videos, 2017
Selected Paintings, 2016
The paintings from 2016 continue the experimental direction started by the "Wash" (Project #2) paintings in 2015. Here, the re-introduction of vivid, saturated color dominates the work as a body. Also, these works are also all done on panel. The hard surface causes the poured paint to behave differently and it also responds to heat and pressurized water in a totally new manner. Additionally, the paintings in this project are all much smaller than recent paintings. I look forward to scaling up this new process up in 2017 to see how these experiments will play out on a larger piece.
Selected Paintings, 2014-2015
Early paintings in 2014 started with a focus on more broad areas of diffuse, poured paint in saturated tones and quickly took a significant turn towards all-over white light in the later pieces. I've been focusing more and more on the removal layers--the often hair-thin remnants of paint left after removing the partially dried layer with pressurized water--by highlighting their role against more stark, white backgrounds. The incidental pops of color are more of an afterthought to the action of these layers. Or, in some cases, allowing large white pours to remain on top of the final painting, with nothing at all added to this final step. 2014 seems to be a transitional year; the paintings are changing, my thoughts are changing about the work and what it should be. It's hard to put anything into words, but you can see it happening in the work itself.
2015 continued with an interest in the "white out" of the later works from 2014. More and more use of white occurred although my methods, composition, etc, began to flux a little. And, by mid-2015, color is gradually but dramatically re-introduced. In many ways, I think the white paintings from 2014 and early 2015 paved the way for the re-introduction of saturated color later in 2015--a forest fire to promote new growth, so to speak. Below is the full exhibition statement for the exhibition that showcased these paintings:
Exhibition Statement for "Wash: New Paintings by Greg Minah"
Water shapes things. It erodes and transplants; it pools and it dries away. It conspires with the ground to carve and bend and draw the landscape. “Wash: New Paintings by Greg Minah” showcases the co-authorial role that water has as an instrument in my artmaking.
My work has always been a collaboration between artist and material. Poured acrylic paint is manipulated not with a brush but by tilting, turning, and rotating the painting itself.* In her essay, “Paint Awash on a Shifting Ground,” retired director of the Baltimore Museum of Art Doreen Bolger writes:
"Despite the seeming spontaneity of Minah's work, there is incredible control, with the movement of his body in relation to the canvas determining the outcome. In an odd way, this action becomes the antithesis of Pollock's own painterly gestures, which directed the paint to a stationary ground before or below him. Pollock moved the pigment; Minah moves the ground."**
This process also involves the removal of partially dried layers of paint with pressurized water, leaving (usually) opaque remnants of paint applications. But the paintings presented here, all from 2015, while still physically manipulated to direct the behavior of the paint, have had water introduced, at times, more gradually and more broadly.
In these works, paint is often eased away--kindly coaxed by sheets of water. I’ve used larger applications of water to slowly and gently affect the material over longer periods of time. After the initial moves, the canvas might be propped up at an angle to allow these veils of water to pull and spread the paint over greater areas. The wash, encouraged but unhurried by gravity, works on the pigment methodically. Sweeping visual statements are written with subplots and footnotes intermixed. Rather than completely removing any evidence of the wash as I’ve done in earlier works, here, I’ve allowed the footprints to remain. As a result, the layers become more ethereal. Line, shape, and color freely exchange breath and brainstorm ideas until a kind of drone harmony takes form.
I consider these paintings to be sorts of landscapes, connoting the growth and decay of terrain sculpted by natural force. I’m a participant in these pieces, pivoting with the unpredictable nature of fluid paint. And at times I’m simply an observer, gazing at the material flux in the same way one gazes at the sea. A crashing wave disrupts the sand, scattering anything in its path. Then it soothes the sand as it draws away and washes things into place."
*To watch a short video highlighting this painting method, go to vimeo.com/33253072
** A link to the electronic version of the exhibition catalog “Greg Minah: Shifting Ground, Selected Paintings 2008-2014,” which includes the full essay, can be found on my website gregminah.com
Selected Paintings, 2012-2013
In 2012, I seem to have re-visited some key elements from years prior while working in a lot of different approaches, too. The earlier paintings are smaller in scale and employ a lot of white space with distinct color events. The second series from this year are the largest paintings that I've ever made using this painting method and I seem to just keep pushing the heavily-saturated, all-over colors with minimal use of black/white--the overall effect is almost a humming or vibration. And then, towards the end of the year, I took this approach with the color to a smaller scale again.
The most obvious change in direction in 2013 was the use of the circular stretchers. This format has been in the back of my mind since developing this method of painting several years back. It just seemed to make sense to to experiment with this frame given the rolling, turning, spinning nature of my working process. The experience was very difficult as I realized that my curves and flowing, rhythmic lines had gotten used to having right angles to play off of. The circular paintings went through a lot of changes throughout their creation, resulting in a a new kind of depth that can come only with adding more and more layers.
I carried this development into the latest series of 60 by 40 inch stretchers. The edge is back but the added amount of layers of paint (most are quickly partially removed before trying completely to leave only the outline) are still there. This is why I've added a compilation of detail images that attempt to document the subtly and fine level of minuscule detail present in these most recent paintings.
Painting Process, Videos & Stills
I shot and produced these short videos for the Baker Awards page to highlight my working methods in the hopes that viewers will be able to more fully experience my paintings. A fuller description of each video can be found in the detail section of the individual video.
I shot the video using my Sony NEX-3 camera, edited it using Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD, and I composed the music on an iPad by playing/arranging virtual instruments in Garage Band and sampling noises from the actual painting process.
I've also provided some video stills with further explanation of important steps in the painting process.
The painting that I'm working on in "Greg Minah: Painting | Method" is entitled "certain truths" and can be seen in the "Paintings, 2011" project of this nomination.
Selected Paintings, 2010-2011
I made a lot of paintings in 2010 and tried to show some representative paintings of the four, or so, series that I made that year. It seems that a central "event" or "character" is emerging. Using one or two pours/removals to create a point of focus on top of many other layers.
Then, in the paintings from the later part of 2010, things begin to lighten up again. Colors are used sparingly and seem to say more. I also started to experiment with pouring thinned paint onto an already wet canvas, creating that glazing mask effect.
In 2011, because some of these paintings were so large, I had to construct a handle that attached to the back of the stretcher and spanned across the face so that I could see the paint as I moved the painting. The colors shift yet again and I sometimes wonder just how much the seasons might be affecting them.
Selected Paintings, 2008-2009
These paintings, half of which were made during the Joshua Tree Artist Residency in 2008, mark a real turning point in my work. The light, landscape and isolation of the high desert had a profound impact on me and my work. This was also when I first began to experiment with dripping and pouring paint. UPDATE: I'll be returning to Joshua Tree for another residency in April, 2018! Excited to see how the desert treats me 10 years later!!
In 2009, you can trace the gradually decreasing role that the paint brush played in creating the work. The larger paintings were made by pouring and then masking layers with a brush. The smaller, square paintings were made with very little brushwork, relying more on applying more layers to achieve depth and atmosphere.
Selected Cut Painting Sculptures, Installations and and Videos
The sculptures, assemblages, videos and installations presented in this project represent a sampling of the work that I made shortly after college. In school, with unrestricted access to large studio space and cheap materials, I made a lot of large paintings. After school, I had to unstretch the paintings in order to store them. While going through a period of questioning painting's relevance, I realized that I had this gigantic pile of subject matter that I could experiment with. That's when I cut up my first painting and arranged it into organized, labeled bundles.
In some ways, I think that the questioning and experimentation with the medium that I did during these years led to the alternative method of painting that I do today. While I no longer question the importance/relevance of a painting, I still try and push the medium and think about it differently as I work.
Greg's Curated Collection
This artist has not yet created a curated collection.