As we shuffled through internet sites last summer we came across a reference to an exhibition in May at 02 Gallery in Austin of Craig Mindell’s woodcuts. Struck by an energy of vertical and horizontal marks of color that raced across the surface of each piece of paper, we sought him out and invited him to join the AP/RC. He agreed.
Mindell’s subject matter has engaging familiarity–people sitting at a table or on the front stoop of a porch, rows of stores along a section of street, portraits of people, and houses. Some of the works are black and white but most are done with three colors. Mindell, who now lives in Wells Branch, Texas, just north of Austin, began cutting woodcuts in 1979 while he was working in telecommunications. Although employed full time with AT&T in Kansas City, then Topeka, then Dallas and finally Austin, he managed to daily cut away at his blocks of wood. After a short hiatus and exploration of painting in 2000 he returned to wood block printing in 2004.
The AP/RC’s “capture” of work by artists who migrate between less and more involvement in the “art world”, often owing to the need to pay the rent and put food on the table, deserves attention and focus. While generalizations do not cover the variety of historical contingencies that shape such migrations, in Mindell’s case we have been rewarded with the vitality and intensity of his management of dual identities: as a telecom professional and an artist. Of late he dropped the former and concentrates his attention solely on his art.