Minna Resnick speaks for The Interview Series, May 2020
– How did you become an artist?
I apparently was always doing artwork. My parents kept a news article about my poster being selected for some competition when I was in second grade. I personally remember entering artwork for competition starting in junior high school. In high school, I was selected to attend special extracurricular art classes every year. My parents were always very encouraging. I was convinced that if I drew on a piece of toilet paper, they would hang it up. (They would have!)
-Was there a particular piece / body of work / experience that inspired you?
I can’t pinpoint any specific body of work that has inspired me, since at every stage of my practice, it has changed. What I do remember, though, was when I two years out of art school, I was living/working in Amsterdam over the summer, and I spent an entire day at the Rembrandt House, slowly marveling over his etchings. I came out of the museum and said to my husband that I should just cut my hands off at the wrist, since I his work was so profound and astonishing, and that no matter what I did, I would never ever be able to accomplish a tiny proportion of his vision. But I did resolve to work as hard as I could to do the best with what I had.
-What images or things do you keep in your studio that influence your work?
Oh, dear. Several years ago, I finally put up a wall of images that would remind me of what I should be paying attention to: strong compositions, color schemes, drawing references. It’s a hodge-podge that I now look at on occasion, just to pay attention to what is possible and not what is comfortable.
– What positive outcome do you hope will occur due to the pandemic experience?
Actually, aside from missing my daily gym class, and going to shop for food whenever I wanted, my schedule has not changed much, since my studio is in our home. What has changed is that I sometimes have a hard time concentrating and holding out thoughts of world calamity and the chaos and damage to everyone here in the U.S. Even if I can hold those thoughts at bay, it has entered my current work, which has been a bit on the starker side. I am hoping to be able to soon bring some sense of humor, or lighter attitude, back into my work. I am so lucky that my studio is my oasis and I’m able to seclude myself into my own world and make art. And that’s a privilege I am very well aware of.
Artist’s Statement regarding body of work for The Interview Series
Historically I’ve addressed the elusiveness of communication over time, which is dependent on historical and cultural contexts. However, recently I’ve returned to my decades old, earlier concerns, of introspection and social “apartness”. With decades of life experience, this also now includes a defiant attitude.
This really started in January this year, as we prepared to spend two months in Australia, me working in the School of Art at Australian National University, Canberra, while my husband was collaborating with colleagues in the Business School. We knew we were entering a problematic, perhaps difficult, time there, as the bush fires were consuming vast areas of the country. Australians are a hearty and optimistic bunch, but you could tell the mental and physical fatigue it took on people. We endured serious air pollution and the effects of a severe local hailstorm. Although I worked daily in my office studio, the sense of making do under extreme circumstances was in the air, even before the pandemic started. This was a sobering time and just enhanced my thoughts of being hard at work trying to make sense of anything within a harsh world. Returning to the States in the midst of the pandemic has further extended this time of introspection. I think it’s reflected in the work.
Minna Resnick is an artist and printmaker who has lived in Ithaca, NY, since 1987, where she also maintains her studio. She has shown both nationally and internationally and has work in over 50 public and private collections, including the American Council on Education, Washington, DC, and the United States Information Agency. Her work is represented in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, NY; the Denver Art Museum, CO; the New York Public Library; the Newark Museum, NJ; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; and Kunsthaus Grenchen, Switzerland. Resnick’s work is also represented in over 30 university and municipal collections. In 1980, she was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and she received New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships in 1991 and 1995. In 1999, she was awarded a Constance Saltonstall artist fellowship. Most recently, in 2007 and 2009, she organized an international printmaking exhibition and related symposium in China. In 2013, Minna exhibited in PrintEd: HERE — Contemporary Prints from the US, Turkey and Ireland as well as in Lithography: Here & Now, an exhibition of lithographs printed at RBPMW in the last five years, Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop Gallery, 323 W. 39th Street, New York. In 2014, Minna participated in the in the Seventh International Printmaking Biennial of Douro, Portugal. Resnick continually gives lectures and workshops around the US, and teaches part-time.