In 1974, Anne Minich (b.1934) crossed the country and found herself sitting in the kitchen of a Berkeley apartment, covered with a towel, while photographer William Bruce Hale proceeded to shave her head and document the results at her request.
This radical act of depersonalization emphasized a break with social norms, while her bare head announced political and personal agency. Its shape rendered in silhouette became both ungendered and ageless, and was subsequently introduced by the artist into a series of works - loosely referred to as The Head Series - over the course of the next 49 years.
Featuring loans from institutions and private collections alongside works never- before seen, Containing Multitudes: Anne Minichs Head Series, 1974 - 2023 at Commonweal assembles for the first time over thirty original works from this introspective and enigmatic series. Heavily autobiographical, each work documents critical moments of personal and professional development in Minichs life. The silhouette of her head creates space for the audience to project themselves upon her straightforward, yet idiosyncratic, compositions.
Together, these works chronicle the complex experiences that have come to be her guiding lights, while more widely hinting at the shadows cast by personal adversities she has faced as an artist, a woman, a mother and a friend.
Published in coordination with this exhibition will be a catalog documenting the Head Series, featuring an interview with Minich and essays by co-curator Tally de Orellana, Meredith Sellers and Jodi Throckmorton exploring Minich's life and work.
Commonweal exhibits Philadelphia-based artists whose works reflect topics important to our city while actively engaging with regional, national and global conversations. The gallery curates a series of intimate programs intended to broaden an appreciation of how and why featured artists and their colleagues in creative communities engage with the world.
Commonweal is owned and operated by Alex Conner, a curator, educator, writer and entrepreneur who works with individuals and businesses in an advisory capacity to develop collections guided by personal taste and values, along with a focus on market dynamism, that feature works by Philadelphias most remarkable artistic talents thoughtfully reflecting the capacities of our shared humanity.
Containing Multitudes: Anne Minichs Head Series, 1974 - 2023
September 1st, 2023 - October 28th, 2023
Opening reception on Friday, September 15th, from 6p - 9 PM