Minna Resnick & Bryna Silbert at NoHo M55 Gallery

Opening Reception Saturday, September 7, from 4 to 6pm
Both exhibitions run September 3 – 21, 2024


In Resnick’s five-decade career as an artist, her work has always addressed issues confronting women. Her initial subject of personal introspection and engagement through body language slowly evolved into concerns about women’s reactions and accommodations to their cultural environment, and expanded again, many years later, to the visual meaning of language in general.  Communication is elusive, and dependent on historical and cultural contexts.  Words and images that appear common to one generation may be unknown to another. This allows her work to examine the changing nature of experience over the course of time and aging, and to comment on themes of expectation and reality, the ideal and the every day, including the personal and internal debate which continues to occur when women confront themselves and their role in society. 

Her imagery started changing as she entered middle age, and as her daughter started emerging as a young, independent woman herself and began dealing with similar gender issues that Resnick hoped would have disappeared by the time her daughter grew up. It made Resnick start to think generationally – the differences between how her daughter had grown up, a product of a mother who matured in the heyday of the sixties during a strong women’s movement, and how Resnick grew up in the fifties, the product of a mother who experienced the depression and World War II.  Are our lives and roles in society and our reactions to it different or the same? Resnick thinks a little of both.


“Persephone” terracotta/mixed media, 11 x 5 x 4 inches, 2019

Silence is not golden in my artistic environment. But storytelling is. Naturally, as a figurative sculptor I have been intrigued by the challenges of the human body and captivated by its expressive language…by its grace and gesture. But storytelling is part of my personal narrative that has naturally flowed into my art. My exhibit, “Intimate Figures,” shows this confluence. It’s a two-way street between my models and me, as our mutual sharing of stories has become a vital ingredient in my pieces. 

This sharing also makes each sculpture unique, creating a person…an individual, as it were. Our intimate conversations add to the weight, not the size, of my figures. When I started to make sculptures, my models were mostly women—from teens to septuagenarians. And the occasional male model, as well. Among them I count pregnant women without partners, homeless people, a woman who had lost a breast to cancer, a dancer, and an interior decorator. They related poignant, often heart-rending experiences, though sometimes stories had an unexpected twist; for example, the man who gave his sick dog an overdose of medicine and buried him, only to have him scratch at the door three weeks later! Some of the 30 to 50 models that have graciously agreed to sit for my work have since become friends.

More recently I have experimented with new materials and processes in how I treat the surfaces of my sculptures—namely collaging. I started adhering newsprint to the figures, giving them a richer, more colorful meaning and sometimes adding a metaphorical, ironic, and sometimes playful dimension. Think: canvases by 20th century masters Henri Matisse or Pablo Picasso. But ultimately, “Intimate Figures” is my way of reflecting life experiences shared between my models and me. 

Our interactions have transformed the clay into figures with energy and life force and endowed them with souls.

NoHo M55 Gallery 548th Street, Suite 634, New York NY 10001
(917) 675 6884 – Gallery hours: Tues-Sat 11am-6pm

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