George Franklin Mingo At Essie Green Galleries in Harlem

February 18, 2014
George Franklin MingoGeorge Mingo’s faux primitif compositions at first glance appear as plain, naive expression, found in children’s drawings. His art is characterized by simplicity in its subject matter and a technique appearing to have little or no formal art training. Upon a second analysis, one can discover a treatment which takes a large amount of maturity in thinking. There is a deep understanding of dealing with colors. He paints in a personal method of structured and decorative shapes. Mingo’s simple figures of suspended quilts of color are orchestrated into fantastic and childlike, yet meditative works.George Mingo was a child art-prodigy whose third grade teachers paid him to make their Christmas cards. George didn’t take art seriously until late high school when he saw a picture of Salvador Dali wearing a top hat and cape and carrying a gold-knobbed cane. With dreams of limousines and good-looking women, he went off to Cooper Union and discovered he was black a few years before multiculturalism.

In the 70s Mingo lived at 27 Cooper Square which was the home of many of this country’s well-known artists, among them writers, musicians and painters, including Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), Archie Shepp, Elizabeth Murray, Sirone, David Hammons, Hettie Jones, and others. In 1979 George became an Artist in Residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem and exhibited there with Noah Jemison, Aj Smith, and Ronald Harding. Other notable exhibitions include a group show at the Onyx Gallery in 1986 with Terry Adkins, Ed Clark, Bill Hutson, Al Loving, Joe Overstreet, and Jack Whitten. Then in 1989 Cooper Union held a retrospective exhibition of art by Black and Hispanic alumni including George together with Michael Brathwaite, Leonardo Drew, Marina Gutierrez, Don Miller, Bob Rivera, Juan Sanchez, Milton Sherrill, Frank Stewart, Jack Whitten, Gilberto Wilson and Dmitri Wright. One of his last exhibitions was in 1994 with Josef Zutelgte and Stanley Whitney at the Jack Tilton Gallery.

George Franklin Mingo, abstract painter and sculptor, died of heart disease on December 6, 1996.

The work of abstract painter and sculptor, George Franklin Mingo, will be on exhibition at the renowned Essie Green Galleries, February 22nd – April 12th, 2014.

Essie Green Galleries has specialized in explaining the works of America ’s Black Masters since 1978.

Essie Green Galleries is located at 419A Convent Avenue New York NY , 10031 in the Sugar Hill Historic District of Harlem. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10am-6pm. For more information please contact Sherman Edmiston, 212-368-9635 or visit

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