As promised, a review of the permanent collection at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC:
I would describe the permanent collection that was on display as carefully procured, eclectic, Surreal, and inclusive.
I went to the modern and contemporary art side first, as I was under a time constraint, and where they had a sculpture in deep purple (Night Wing, c. 1972-78) from Anne Truitt, whose Daybook I would strongly recommend. I’ve read her Daybook, but had never seen her work in person, so catching it at the Mint was a surprise treasure. :)
Cristina Toro, who was also featured in the collage exhibition, had a painting, Without Exception Everything is Reflected in this Mirror, 2015-2016, which is the coolest self portrait I have ever seen, and she is definitely someone to follow, as her work is a visual delight, overflowing with detail, texture, color, and life.
There were also works from Andy Warhol: one of his diamond dust silkscreen portraits, which is one of my favorite bodies of work of his, and of which I took a Boomerang of and will be posting in my Instagram stories tomorrow. There was also Ed Ruscha, Norman Rockwell, and Ansel Adams, as well as funky surreal works by Harold Lehman and James Guy, a quaint landscape by Constance Richardson, American art from the 30s-50s featuring factory towns and leisure activities, and a through-three-different-doorways portrait of studio and family life by John Wilde, an influencer on American Surrealism.
A favorite subject matter of mine in the work of female artists is that of the transcendent, mysterious, and surreal. Surrealism is one of my favorite genres anyway, but the quiet, spiritual, and enigmatic scenes in work like Gertrude Abercrombie’s Deportation (1948) is as special a find as Anne Truitt’s Night Wing (c. 1972-78). There were also works by Post-Surrealist painter Helen Lundeberg, Poetic Justice (1945), and Surrealist painter Kay Sage’s Ring of Iron, Ring of Wool (1947), all beautiful, dreamy, haunting, and treasures to behold. The work of the 1930s-1940s are way underrated in my opinion, so to see it collected so carefully and lovingly by museums like the Mint is refreshing. I should really go on a personal quest to find as much art from the 1930s and 40s that I can. The 30s gave us Surrealism, factories, daily life, and an explosion of female artists, so it should definitely get more attention. Now on to Romare Bearden.
Romare Bearden’s watercolor work is deeply saturated with color and features city scenes from his life. Screenprints like Salome (1974) depict Biblical scenes with rich texture and pattern. The coolest works by Bearden were his collagraphs of city life featuring buildings, musicians, and other life. Now that I’m looking at them again, I need to do some collagraphs, stat. So freaking cool. Definitely unique and worth checking out.
So to wrap things up, the Mint Museum’s permanent collection is thoughtful, unusual, and worth the trip. I also saw a bathing suit from the early 20th century, which would apparently be worn with full-length dark cotton stockings. What a bummer to have to wear! So thankful society has changed for the better in what qualifies as swimwear, and so thankful to see so many unique pieces in the Mint’s collection. It was refreshing and rejuvenating, and I strongly recommend a visit. :)