Marjorie Minkin: The Shape of Light

Museum Quality Work at Real Eyes Gallery in the Berkshires

By: - Jul 05, 2019

Marjorie Minkin: The Shape of Light
Real Eyes Gallery
June 28 to July 28, 2019
Hours: Friday, Saturday, Sunday; noon to 7 PM
Artist's Talk: Sunday, July 14 at 5 PM
71 Park Street
Adams, Mass. 01230

In vertical and horizontal configurations the undulating, manipulated Lexan supports of Marjorie Minkin float and dance, shimmer and shake. They expand off the walls of  Real Eyes Gallery in the heart of Adams in the Berkshires.

The exhibition will remain on view through July 28. The artist will discuss the work Sunday, July 14, at 5 PM.  In a relatively short time gallerist, Bill Reilly, has been able to present museum quality exhibitions drawing upon an expanding and ever more formidable community of artists.

With this latest installation of abstract works by Minkin Real Eyes has raised the bar. It is a part of an expanding critical mass of serious and professional venues. That includes Gallery 51 of MCLA, The Eclipse Mill Gallery (now lapsed from regular programming), and Berkshire Art Museum in North Adams. Unfortunately, Downstreet which featured a number of pop up, seasonal galleries has been discontined.

As the Minkin show underscores, Real Eyes Gallery is pushing the envelope with formidable programming into the cusp of winter. Reilly, formerly a scene painter for The Metropolitan Opera, will punch his own ticket in the fall. MCLA has cut back on its once significant commitment to local arts programming. Gallery 51 and Downstreet have now been Downsized. MASS MoCA and Clark Art Instititute continue to ignore "local" artists.

We have known and admired the work of Minkin for decades. She was often included in exhibitions, projects and critical writing of Kenworth Moffett the former Museum of Fine Arts curator of contemporary art. He was particularly interested in formalist abstraction that experimented with materials and process.

That approach is richly evident in relief forms with bright, liquid accents of saturated acrylic on view in Adams. The surprise and joy of this new body of work was a cluster of smaller elements grouped as  “Constellation.” Absent  color we contemplate a small detail of a vast galaxy. While her work is never representational it is evocatively poetic.

Once a name is attached to an abstraction, however, we tend to see it through that lens.

Naming is knowing. One approach when visiting Minkin’s exhibition is not to look at wall labels. Spend time with the work allowing for its visual connections and associations.

Artist Statement by Marjorie Minkin.

Light and its visual effects have always intrigued me. I remember lying in bed as a very young child, watching patterns of light streaming into my room between the slats of the window blinds. An eye condition prevented me from seeing with both eyes at the same time. Looking first with one eye, then the other, I saw effects of light differently with each eye and realized early on that the world can be viewed from different perspectives. 

Throughout my youth, I spent summers by the ocean, immersing myself in the ever-changing interplay of light and its reflections during long daily walks on the beach, with its expanse of sky, sea, and land. This nurtured my curiosity about the world and a desire to bring awareness to what is hidden from view. I follow current theories about quantum energy and the nature of the cosmos -- and wonder at our world, so interconnected on the quantum level.

An abiding curiosity of the very nature of reality combined with a love of color and light are at the root of my life as an artist. To express the flow of color, I paint abstractly, layering translucent veils of color over one another, leaving traces of previous layers showing through. My aim is to make works that express movement and change.

The relational power of color is integral to my paintings.  Iridescent pigments and shifting reflections alter their appearance depending on the viewer’s perspective. My relief works are constructed using Lexan, a polycarbonate plastic known for its strength and durability. Using transparent material enables me to create more layering while preserving the clarity of the color enhancing spatial illusions. After much experimenting, I evolved a unique method of heat forming the Lexan so it can act as a lens to focus light and color within and around my relief works. Their reflections and shadows visually connect them to the world around them. 

In all of my art, I endeavor to express, through my love of color and light, those unseen energies that connect the world, and to make visible how profoundly our perceptions are changed by changes in our perspective.