No matter whether Daniel Minter makes paintings, sculptures, prints or illustrations for children’s books, he is at heart a storyteller. As his solo exhibition at Hammonds House Museum attests, the Maine-based Georgia native makes use of legend, history and an observant eye in his chronicles of the African-American experience.
The paintings sometimes teeter on the line between art and illustration, but in a way that suits his purpose. Though Minter’s sculptural output is uneven, the best pieces — the glazed and decorated brooms are tops in my book — are quite strong.
What’s most interesting is the way themes and symbols weave through the media. For instance, the brooms reference the Gullah legend of slaves flying home to Africa, a tale told in a painting. Home — its loss, its recovery — is a pervasive subject and motif. Minter’s work is very accessible, but references to Malaga might need explaining: It’s an island off the coast of Maine, where black settlers were forced from their homes in 1912.
For a young artist, Lucha Rodriguez is already mature in her development of a vocabulary, which fuses the organic and the calligraphic, and she is exploring in a spectrum of mediums and scales, from wall pieces to room-size installations. Her work at Kai Lin Art also represents an innovative use of printmaking and her attention to detail. All of which is a staid summation of the sexy, femme presence of her curvy pink forms, and the joyous pop of her installations.
For more on these artists, please see my AJC review.