Minnie Evans: Paintings and Drawings
Highlights of Minnie Evans’ life (American, 1892 - 1987) were often expressed in her art. She spoke of visions in which God told her to “draw or die” and from this instructive, fifty years of artistic creation followed. In addition, her love of nature, stemming partly from her job as a gatekeeper at Airlie Gardens, permeates her work with an intensity similar to her religious fervor.
Her early experiments with drawing often seem child like, with imaginary faces peeking out of decorative scrolls and repetitive dots and dashes. As Evans spent much of her time making art, it became more sophisticated, sometimes highly decorative, and always inventive. The paintings, rugs and urns she saw in the homes where she also worked as a domestic, served as inspirations. These influences only enhanced her already substantial visionary world.
In addition to Evans’ own fantasies, she had an earnest desire to paint in the mold of 19th century painters who she saw in the Metropolitan Museum. Her paintings startle us with their ingenuity and heartfelt renditions of inner life. From the decorative, to dreamlike worlds, to the depths of damnation, Evans makes an experience we don’t forget.
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