(Martin Jones) #1

art is full of the connection with nature. We have the
same concerns as the Hudson River School painters
and could ask the same questions today. I want to
continue the dialogue.”
Nearly 200 years ago, Thomas Cole (1801-1848),
regarded as the founder of the Hudson River School,
wrote, “...nature is still predominant, and there are those
who regret that with the improvements of cultivation the
sublimity of the wilderness should pass away: for those
scenes of solitude from which the hand of nature has
never been lifted, affect the mind with a more deep toned
emotion than aught which the hand of man has touched.”
Minervini taps into the history of art, his experiments
with the mechanical and the painterly and his “sly illu-
sionistic language” in his latest work that will be shown
in the exhibition New Monuments at Hirschl & Adler
Modern in New York, March 14 through April 20.
Cognitive Dissonance, 2018, first caught my eye
because it induces cognitive dissonance—the mental
discomfort brought about by holding contradictory
beliefs. We are all familiar with halftone images made
up of dots ( just magnify a newspaper photo) and
believe in the illusion of the three-dimensionality of
the objects shown in them. The pattern of the half-
tone is most obvious in the image of mountain peaks
on the lower right shelf. In Cognitive Dissonance, a
halftone of an Egyptian sculpture of a baboon sits on
a shelf on a blue base painted in perspective to simu-
late depth. We know the image is two-dimensional
but believe it is three-dimensional, especially sitting
on its base. Minervini breaks the “reality” by adding

highlights in obvious brushstrokes.
In Hermaphroditus, 2018, the Greek god appears in a
similar halftone to the same effect. The child of Hermes
and Aphrodite, his name is a combination of both, just
as he embodies male and female characteristics. The
philodendron at his feet is painted with the represen-
tational characteristics of the vine. Next to it, however,
is a two-dimensional plant shape with no detail at all.
“I was thinking about when you need detail or when
you don’t,” he explains. “There’s enough of a signifier
in the shape that you don’t need more information. If
I detailed every leaf it might be a better painting.
I think by introducing the flatter shape, the eye is going
to fill in the blank.
“If a painting looks too straightforward I try to find a
way to make it more complex,” he continues. “You know
it’s not representational. It’s this complicated space...
I’m trying not to judge the painting as I’m working on
it. I just let myself make the work. Then I think about
it. I’m leaving more space to see where it takes me as
opposed to being over manipulative.”
Minervini adds, “I’m always interested in making
paintings accessible. I’ve always loved art and found
it something I wanted to share.”

When: March 14-April 20, 2019
Where: Hirschl & Adler Modern, 41 E. 57th Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10022
Information: (212) 535-8810, http://www.hirschlandadler.com

In the Fold, acrylic
on canvas, 42 x 32".
Courtesy the artist and
Hirschl & Adler Modern,
NY. Photo © Cary

Counter Balance, acrylic
on linen, 42 x 32".
Courtesy the artist and
Hirschl & Adler Modern,
NY. Photo © Cary

Hermaphroditus, acrylic
on canvas, 42 x 32".
Courtesy the artist and
Hirschl & Adler Modern,
NY. Photo © Cary


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