No one could accuse Daniel Minter of being a slacker. The Maine-based artist, first to receive Hammonds House Museum’s Art Auction Merit Award, fills the West End facility to the rafters with drawings, paintings, prints, carved stone sculptures, assemblages and illustrations for children’s books in “A Heavy Grace, a Shallow Home.” || His influences are equally broad. Minter’s figures, with their pronounced African features, recall the work of social realist painters John Biggers and Charles White. Dreamlike landscapes in vivid colors suggest Haitian naïve painting. Patterning in the two-dimensional works and references to the minkisi altar tradition in the assemblages are references to African arts. || The Georgia native’s oeuvre is linked and animated by his desire to embody emotional truths of the African-American experience through his particular fusion of history, myth and observed details of everyday life. || Longing for home is a pervasive theme. In the mixed media painting “Carry Me Home,” three block prints of a young woman in 19th-century clothing stand in ankle-deep water, posed, as are figures in Egyptian murals, with bodies facing front, heads in profile. The ritualistic gestures transform them to symbols — of a dispossessed people looking across the sea to a faraway home. || In that spirit, the mural of tiny figures representing a wide swath of humanity that runs across the bottom might be figures of the Diaspora, who carry this memory through time.
By Catherine Fox | Atlanta Journal Constitution