A l e x- -M i n e w s k i-TT-1 9 1 7 - 1 9 7 9

Modernist Abstration, African American


“I have tried to stress the conceptual value of things ‘seen’, rather than simply what the eye ‘looks at.’ Through inner force I hope to develop the physical image. By avoiding the picturesque, I want to reach beyond the image alone. The work, in the end, must speak for itself. Painting should be an expression of life’s experiences.” -Alex Minewski

Born in Detroit, Minewski left home as a teenager and joined the circus. Later, he returned to Detroit to begin his art training at the Society of Arts and Crafts. He moved to New York City to continue his studies at the Art Students League with teachers that included Jean Charlot, Ernest Fiene, George Grosz, and Vaclav Vytlacil. During the war, Minewski was a combat engineer and was wounded in Burma while fighting with Merrill’s Marauders. While recovering, he continued his studies for two years on the G.I. Bill at the Grande Chaumiere in Paris. He returned to New York City to study independently with Hans Hofmann from 1952-1953.

In 1954, Minewski began spending his summers at the historic artist’s colony in Monhegan Island, Maine. In the early 1970s, he was awarded a research grant to study the sea life on the Maine coast. He became fascinated with the structure of fish, and studies of their forms filled his Monhegan portfolio. His work is included in Monhegan: The Artists Island by June and Will Curtis. In 1966 Minewski was appointed Professor of Art at SUNY, New Paltz, and taught there until his death in 1979.

Minewski exhibited in New York City, Maine, Detroit, and New Paltz in group and one-man shows throughout his career including, Michigan Artists, 1937-39, 1938 (purchase), 1945-47; Audubon Artists, 1947-48; Detroit Institute of Art, 1946 (solo); Contemporary Art Gallery, 1947; PAFA Annual, 1949; National Society of Painters in Casein, 1955, 1956; Ball State Teachers College, 1956 (purchase); Butler Institute of American Art, 1957; Columbia Museum of Art, 1957 (solo); National Academy of Design (solo); Washington Irving Gallery, 1957; New Paltz State University, 1979 (retrospective). Exhibitions of his work continued after his death throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

DocksideTT-1953, Gouache.

Signed in the image, lower left. Dated, signed, and titled, in pencil verso, April 1953 -Minewski, ‘Dock Side’

Image size 14 x 20 inches (356 x 508 mm); sheet size 14 7/8 x 22 3/16 inches (378 x 564 mm).

A fine, modernist composition, with fresh, undiminished colors, on heavy, cream wove drawing paper; the full sheet with margins (3/8 to 1 inch). Original brown paper tape on the sheet edges, recto; brown paper hinge remains, verso; in excellent condition.