• A sculpture by Joe Minter titled We Lost Our Spears, dated 1989.

    Joe Minter

    We Lost Our Spears, 1989

    Welded found metal

    51 x 29 x 35 inches

  • A sculpture by Joe Minter titled In Control of the Mule, dated 1989.

    Joe Minter

    In Control of the Mule, 1989

    Welded found metal

    58 x 35 x 27 inches

  • A sculpture by Joe Minter titled Geese in Formation, dated 2001.

    Joe Minter

    Geese in Formation, 2001

    Welded found metal

    41 x 30 x 34 inches

  • Joe Minter

    Praying Mantis, 1991

    Welded found metal

    22 1/2 x 29 x 19 inches

  • Joe Minter

    The Migration, c. 1990s

    Welded found metal

    40 x 33 x 30 inches

  • A sculpture by Joe Minter titled The Dreamer, dated c. 2005, from the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

    Joe Minter

    The Dreamer, c. 2005

    Steel and mixed media

    Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of William S. Arnett, 2014.72, © Joe Minter

  • Joe Minter: We Lost Our Spears, 2022

    MARCH

    Photo by Cary Whittier.

  • Joe Minter

    2019 Whitney Biennial

    Whitney Museum of American Art

  • An installation view of Joe Minter's sculpture titled Four Hundred Years of Free Labor, dated 1995, in History Refused to Die: Highlights From the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2018. Image courtesy of Agaton Strom and The New York Times.

    Joe Minter, Four Hundred Years of Free Labor, 1995

    History Refused to Die: Highlights From the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift, 2018

    Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Photo by Agaton Strom.

  • An installation view of Joe Minter: Once That River Starts To Flow at the Atlanta Contemporary in 2018.

    Joe Minter: Once That River Starts To Flow, 2018

    Atlanta Contemporary

Circa 1989

February 9 -April 2, 2022

We Lost Our Spears

Joe Minter

February 9 -April 2, 2022

Joe Minter’s (b. 1943) practice weaves celebrations of African American history among religious devotions, illuminating multi-generational experiences of blackness in the United States. In 1989, he began his project titled African Village in America, currently installed in and around his home in Birmingham, Alabama. The ongoing series records and retells history, depicting the sacrifices and contributions of African Americans. A smorgasbord of found objects and recycled gadgets, the sculptures refer to a long and dedicated fight for equality. While Minter’s most recent work takes on the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter Movement, he has been tackling such matters for decades. Ancestral African culture, the horrors of slavery, the triumphs of the Civil Rights Movement, the courage of African American soldiers––these histories are interwoven within Minter’s archive, inviting divine mercy and striving for peace.

Joe Minter (b. 1943) lives and works in Birmingham, Alabama. Previous solo exhibitions include Joe Minter, Sculpture 1995-2012 at James Fuentes Gallery (New York, NY) in 2019 and Once That River Starts To Flow at the Atlanta Contemporary (Atlanta, GA) in 2018. His work is included in various public and private collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY), the Souls Grown Deep Foundation (Atlanta, GA), the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington DC) and the High Museum of Art (Atlanta, GA), among others.

His work has been included in In the Presence of Our Ancestors: Southern Perspectives in African American Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Minneapolis, MN) in 2021, History Refused to Die: Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY) and Revelations: Art from the African American South at the De Young Museum (San Francisco, CA) in 2018, and the groundbreaking Souls Grown Deep: African American Vernacular Art of the South at the Michael C. Carlos Museum (Atlanta, GA) in 1996.

Download full CV

The Guardian
December 10, 2020
Hanging trees and hollering ghosts: the unsettling art of the American deep south
February 5, 2020
By Lanre Bakare

Artnet
November 25, 2020
‘Self-Taught Black Artists Are Often the Last to Benefit When Their Prices Go Up. But We Can Change That––Here’s How.
By Maxwell Anderson

Frieze
August 19, 2020
African American Art From the Deep South
By Amanda Holiday

Medium
July 10, 2020
Art in a World of Social Change
By Sarah Buklan

Artnet
January 20, 2020
What Art Defined the Civil Rights Era? We Asked 7 Museum Curators to Pick One Work That Crystallized the Moment
By Katie White

Burlington Contemporary
June 2020
Curating and photographing art and resistance in the American South
By Hannah Collins

The Wall Street Journal
April 18, 2019
Newcomers Bristling With Hope
By Brenda Cronin

The New York Times
April 24, 2013
Scrap Iron Elegy
By Michael Tortorello

Alabama.com
April 24, 2010
Birmingham folk artist Joe Minter turns junk into spiritual statement
By Greg Garrison

Raw Vision, #68
Winter 2009/10
Joe Minter’s Stations of the African American Passion
By Charles Russel

Subscribe

Receive the latest news and updates from MARCH

Thank you for following along with MARCH