Full Artist's statement
Water ghostwrites my painting. It erodes and transplants; it pools and it dries away. It conspires with pigment and ground to carve and compose stories stacked with resonant harmonies. I’m a participant in these pieces, pivoting with the unpredictable nature of fluid paint, gazing at the material flux.
The paintings presented here showcase the co-authorial role that water has as an instrument in my artmaking. My work has always been a collaboration between artist and material. Poured acrylic paint is manipulated not with a brush but by tilting, turning, and rotating the painting itself. In her essay, “Paint Awash on a Shifting Ground,” retired director of the Baltimore Museum of Art Doreen Bolger writes:
"Despite the seeming spontaneity of Minah's work, there is incredible control, with the movement of his body in relation to the canvas determining the outcome. In an odd way, this action becomes the antithesis of Pollock's own painterly gestures, which directed the paint to a stationary ground before or below him. Pollock moved the pigment; Minah moves the ground."
This process also involves the removal of partially dried layers of paint with fast-moving, pressurized water, leaving the opaque remnants of paint applications and revealing the underlying structure and history of the painting. And sometimes water is introduced more gradually and in broader applications in order to slowly and gently affect the material over longer periods of time. After the initial moves, the canvas might be propped up at an angle to allow these veils of water to pull and spread the paint over greater areas. The wash, encouraged but unhurried by gravity, works on the pigment methodically. Sweeping visual statements are written with subplots and footnotes intermixed. Sometimes I completely remove any evidence of the wash and other times I’ll allow the footprints to remain. As a result, the layers become ethereal. Line, shape, and color freely exchange breath and brainstorm ideas until a kind of drone harmony takes form.
Greg Minah grew up in Columbia, Maryland and graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park with degrees in English Literature and Studio Art. Minah has been honored as a finalist in both the Bethesda Painting Awards and the Trawick Prize. He received the top Individual Artist Award Grant for painting from Maryland State Arts Council and was selected to exhibit at the US Embassy in Guatemala as part of the Art in Embassies Program. Minah's paintings have been included in group and solo exhibitions throughout the United States and can be found in public and private collections internationally. Minah currently lives and works in Baltimore, MD.