March 28—April 28, 2019
James Fuentes is pleased to present a solo exhibition of sculptures by Joe Minter. Joe Minter was born 1943 in Birmingham, Alabama, where he lives and works today. In 1989 Minter began constructing his "African Village in America,” a quarter-acre, densely packed sculptural environment built around his home. The site is an intensely personal expression of an epic historic and cultural vision— driven by an awareness that much of the story of African American history and experience might never be told, and that the contributions of the thousands of people who took part in the battle for civil rights would be disregarded or erased.
Minter’s sculptures made from found materials and objects suggest anthropomorphic figures, invoking their original, now anonymous users, as well as centuries of slave and peonage labor. The work’s historical testimony extends into the present, as Minter addresses the moral and political crises of our present days. Over time Minter has made works intended to be encountered outside of his African Village, which he describes as “message pieces.” The exhibition incorporates works from 1995-2012.
“And it finally came back to me that the only way was through art, art is the universal thing. Make the
art and put a message with it that could heal the wounds everywhere.”—Joe Minter
Minter has been included in the major exhibitions, History Refused to Die: Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift at the Metropolitan Museum, New York (2018); Revelations: Art from the African American South at the de Young Museum, San Francisco (2017); and When Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination and the American South at the Studio Museum in Harlem (2014). His work is in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the High Museum, Atlanta; the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, Atlanta; and Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, among others.
Minter will be featured in the 2019 Whitney Biennial. Curated by Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley, the
Biennial will run from May 17 to September 22 at The Whitney Museum of American Art.