Blue Mountain Gallery
Reception Thursday November 8, 5-8pm
- Additional Information -
I see my work as an expression of the act of painting not merely a recording of images. I begin my paintings in a state of unknowing and through the act of painting I discover the subject and content. I search for the essence of my subject. Therefore, the level of abstraction may vary according to a response to the material before me.
Over the years my work has changed, developed and gotten more complex, although a strong connection to the history of painting remains. As a young student of art I developed an affiliation with the expressionists such as Van Gogh and Van Doggen. I often return to the Yale Art Gallery to visit the "Night Cafe." Then later as an art student in the early 1970's my interests in expressionism continued as I learned about the artists of the Abstract Expressionist era such as de Kooning and Guston.
My work is a vehicle to express a world confused and filled with tension and aggression, verging on violence. I describe a world on the edge of chaos. Consequently, I use a twisting and turning description of space. Distortion, exaggeration, strong color and texture add to the total picture. Even the most peaceful pastoral scene is often riddled with turmoil. Frequently the paintings begin with a brilliant red or yellow ground that pulsates through the work and activates the surface from the first phases of the work. The thick textured surface is progressively built up representing the physical embodiment of this world. My art offers a passionate interpretation rather than a replication of what I see. I believe that my work has a unique vision and quality that the viewer responds to strongly.
My current body of work consists of larger still-life paintings that are often based on the painting of the early American painter Severin Roesen. Roesen is a painter who immigrated first to New York and then Williamsport where he remained until his death. Painting in the late 1800s, Roesen's style is greatly indebted to the Dutch style of still life from the earlier part of the century.
The extremely lavish fruit and flower paintings have always intrigued me because of their "over the top" depiction of the bounty that the land provides to man. These extremely opulent depictions seem particularly timely in today's extravagant and hedonistic atmosphere. Instead of the fullness of the earth's riches, in Roesen's world I see a world of decadence and abuse. My attempt is to express a world no longer elegant and giving of its riches, but one that is dangerous and verging on chaos.
Further information at ruthbernard.com