Tanya Minhas

The Universal Language of WildFlowers

My paintings, installations, and drawings focus entirely on exploring the invisible forces of nature and the imprint they leave as tangible evidence of their existence on and in our lives. A sunny day and its importance for agriculture, that will be our sustenance. A tsunami – water stirred by wind –  that can devastate our material belongings. The pandemic for me has drawn to the forefront the strong destructive force in nature that some say has been evoked by our disregard for the balance of nature, and our disrespect for its creatures. I am even more convinced that there is a method to nature’s beauty and also to its potentially chaotic madness, and that we as human beings have been forcefully overstepping our boundaries. Most days I am scared, as I imagine these microscopic bits threatening possible death coming uninvited, to mingle with the air we breathe. The reason I chose the paintings that I am planning to show this weekend is that they represent invisible nature. Wildflower seeds take from nature -completely devoid of human intention and interaction- germinate and ultimately blossom, showing up in fields and in the cracks of urban pavement. Life goes on in the natural world around us. This reminder of nature’s resilience fills me with optimism that this disruption will introduce us to a new path where we can live in greater, and more thoughtful harmony with nature, than we did before the pandemic.

Artist Statement
Tanya Minhas grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, and moved to the United States to attend Princeton University. She subsequently attended graduate school at Columbia University, and the Art Students League where she painted portraits in oil.  

Minhas ventured away from figurative painting, making repetitive drawings using ink, paint, and yarn about the unseen miniscule energies that subtly direct our lives. Her recent art practice explores the state of harmony between the internal and the external, the visible and the invisible, and how the strength of one’s intrinsic life force affects this harmony, offering an impetus to balance our internal lives with an increasingly tempestuous external world.

Minhas says of her work, “Each painting is about an invisible memory or impression left by the myriad different forces in nature – a leaf falling to the earth displaces air as it falls, tracing an invisible pattern, that I can see with my heart, or my imagination, or whatever it is in myself that finds these moments important, and yet I am unable to express the awe of it precisely with words.  Sand ripples are another example, that fossilized tell stories of environmental history, and that can immediately tell you about yesterday’s storm. Snowflakes as they melt transform states of existence; the movement from solid to liquid is a geometric change visible under a microscope. Thus each painting, drawing, or wall installation, is a story of a moment in nature that is historical, material, and ethereal, all at the same time. 

Tanya Minhas is a visual artist living and working in New York and Long Island. Minhas grew up in Pakistan and originally moved to the United States to attend Princeton University. Variably using ink, paint, and yarn, her intricate artwork explores the unseen components of nature, originating from transformation, dislocation, entanglement, resuscitation, forced separation, the contrasting and varied faces of beauty, destruction and rebirth. She is fascinated by the composition and states of matter that transform, direct and redirect those forces unapparent to the human eye. 

Due to the detailed and contemplative nature of her paintings and repetitive wall drawings, Minhas’ production is small. Her current solo exhibition “Nature Tells Its Own Story” remains on view at Second Street Gallery in Charlottesville, Virginia through June 2020. Her wall drawing commission for Joseph Editions in Nashville, Tennessee, is scheduled for installation in October 2020.  In 2019, her paintings were exhibited at the White Room Gallery in Bridgehampton and at Walter Arader Himalayan Art in New York City. 

An extended exhibition and commission history is available  on request.