Monday, February 17, 2014

NEW YORK: George Mingo

Faux Primitif
February 22 – April 12, 2014

Opening reception: Saturday, February 22, 2014, 4:00 – 7:00PM

419A Convent Avenue
New York, NY

George Mingo’s faux primitif compositions at first glance appear as plain, naive expression, found in children's drawings. His art is characterized by simplicity in its subject matter and a technique appearing to have little or no formal art training. Upon a second analysis, one can discover a treatment which takes a large amount of maturity in thinking. There is a deep understanding of dealing with colors. He paints in a personal method of structured and decorative shapes. Mingo's simple figures of suspended quilts of color are orchestrated into fantastic and childlike, yet meditative works.

George Mingo was a child art-prodigy whose third grade teachers paid him to make their Christmas cards. George didn't take art seriously until late high school when he saw a picture of Salvador Dali wearing a top hat and cape and carrying a gold-knobbed cane. With dreams of limousines and good-looking women, he went off to Cooper Union and discovered he was black a few years before multiculturalism.

In the 70s Mingo lived at 27 Cooper Square which was the home of many of this country's well-known artists, among them writers, musicians and painters, including Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), Archie Shepp, Elizabeth Murray, Sirone, David Hammons, Hettie Jones, and others. In 1979 George became an Artist in Residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem and exhibited there with Noah Jemison, Aj Smith, and Ronald Harding. Other notable exhibitions include a group show at the Onyx Gallery in 1986 with Terry Adkins, Ed Clark, Bill Hutson, Al Loving, Joe Overstreet, and Jack Whitten. Then in 1989 Cooper Union held a retrospective exhibition of art by Black and Hispanic alumni including George together with Michael Brathwaite, Leonardo Drew, Marina Gutierrez, Don Miller, Bob Rivera, Juan Sanchez, Milton Sherrill, Frank Stewart, Jack Whitten, Gilberto Wilson and Dmitri Wright. One of his last exhibitions was in 1994 with Josef Zutelgte and Stanley Whitney at the Jack Tilton Gallery.

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