Peachy Keen met with artist and writer Donna Mintz in the back room of her exhibition at Sandler Hudson Gallery in Atlanta during the recent blackberry winter to talk about her current body of work. We discussed her use of materials to express ideas on memory and place: kaolin gathered from Georgia’s Fall Line recalls an ancient sea, elementary school milk cartons become a practical casting container for gold reliquaries, samples of water taken from North Georgia rivers and streams mark childhood haunts, and found large format negatives capture the gravitas of memory—even if those memories are unknown to us.
Mintz gives us a detailed account of her 24 hours at a 1920s homesteaders’ cabin observing Walter De Maria’s masterwork, The Lightening Field, and explains how the concept of the sublime expressed in this work relates to her own art.
This is a good episode for you visual folks to bulk up on your literary to-do list because in addition to James Agee (who is featured with De Maria in Mintz’ current book in progress) Mintz references the works of many literary giants including Vladimir Nabakov, Ezra Pound, James Dickey, Lillian Smith, and Joel Chandler Harris. Also discussed: lost-cause mythology, the impermanence of human life, and generational gender roles.
Not all serious, we get a little silly with some chat about ASMR and maybe give you something to think about before you go whispering to the person next to you while an author is reading an emotional passage.
Donna Mintz, Sandler Hudson Gallery, Sewanee School of Letters, Walter De Maria’s The Lightening Field, The Wren’s Nest (Joel Chandler Harris House), Lillian E. Smith Center, Hal Jacobs, Jerry Cullum on Ex Astris, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, Caspar David Friedrich, Matthew Brady (Library of Congress), The Painful, Essential Images of War by Ken Burns
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