Norma Minkowitz

Norma Minkowitz
Born 1937, New York, New York

“For many years I have been exploring the possibilities of crocheted, interlaced sculptures stiffened into hard mesh-like structures. The web-like fabric defines volume and form. Process becomes a part of the content and both structure and surface

are achieved simultaneously. These mesh sculptures often make statements about enclosures and entrapment. They can suggest the safety of a shelter or a cage from which there is no escape. The vessels take the form of human bodies and body parts, as well as natural and geometric shapes. Interaction between the forms and the themes of containment create work that is both personal and psychologically complex.

I often dwell on the mysterious cycles of death and regeneration. In many of my works twigs and branches are left inside and are visible in an eerie way through the exterior
of the sculpture, often suggesting connections to the human skeletal or circulatory systems. The outer netting obscures the shape within creating a sense of ambiguity in the shadows of the work. On the surface, paint and stitched lines appear and disappear depending on the light and viewing position. Intricate and random patterns are created by the nature of the open mesh structures. All of these elements combine to convey a sense of energy as the viewer moves around my sculpture. Conceptually, the interlaced
fibers can lend a wonderful duality—simultaneously creating a delicate quality, but also implying the strength of steel mesh—symbolic of the human condition.

Drawing continues to be important to me and I find that the threads and wires I use mimic the cross hatching and irregularities of my pen and ink drawings. My sculpture evolves into a three-dimensional drawing. Recently I have been filling the open spaces
of the fiber’s netting with modeling paste having plaster-like consistency. This process
creates a surface that focuses on and highlights the lines I draw with stitches, introducing a bas relief of concept, energy and movement. I often highlight these drawn lines with colors of paint.

As my work evolves, one thing remains consistent: I am engaged in creating works that weave the personal and universal together.” 


Norma Minkowitz, Cyclone Coming, 2019, mixed media, 27 x 25". Courtesy of browngrotta arts.

Norma Minkowitz and artwork image courtesy of browngrotta arts.