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Joan Witek: Paintings from the 1980s

March 7, 2020 - October 24, 2020

16 Main Street, Suite A
Brooklyn, NY 11201 United States
Wed–Sat, 11–5

MINUS SPACE is pleased to present the exhibition Joan Witek: Paintings from the 1980s. The exhibition will highlight eight major paintings dating from 1980-1985, all of which have not been publicly exhibited since their debut in Witek’s solo survey at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, PA, in the 1980s. This exhibition is organized in collaboration with Artist Estate Studio, LLC, Brooklyn.

At a time when the validity of the Modernist canon is being questioned and reassessed, the paintings and drawings of Joan Witek are ripe for rediscovery. For decades Witek has produced a diverse array of paintings and works on paper motivated solely by the color black. “Black is, quite simply, the color of language,” Witek explained recently.

Alongside dominant figures such as Ellsworth Kelly, Frank Stella, and her neighbor Richard Serra, Witek has been a key protagonist in the downtown New York art scene since the 1970s. She has produced highly-inventive works using her own reductive language that deliberately avoid the formal and chromatic concerns associated with much of postwar American art.

In the large-scale paintings presented in her exhibition, Witek sought a kind of purity, filling her surfaces with measured, vertical and horizontal marks laid down side by side in rows with the raw, unprimed canvas visible between those strokes. Witek’s work captivates in its variety—the play between surface, edge, luminosity, and texture.