Bakersfield Museum of Art

Bakersfield, CA



Celebration of Life: The Art of Sandra Bierman


A retrospective of Sandra Bierman's artwork will appear at the Bakersfieid Museum of Art from July 19 through September 16, 2001. Twenty-two works representing her full range of style will be included.

Unlike many artists who explore one style then move to another, Bierman continuously goes back and forth in varying styles. One could easily group her paintings into several genre: southwestern, mythical, ethnic (Polynesian or Native American), and "other women." What unifies her work is her subject matter: woman, particularly as nurturer. No matter which style Bierman incorporates, the women are portrayed as decidedly feminine, conveyed by soft, curving. flowing lines - in the figures themselves, as well as their clothing and hair. The women softly and tenderly cradle children or sometimes cats in their arms as if they are one with the woman. (left: Earth Mother, 46 x 36 inches; right: Mother and Child, 39 x 33 inches)

Bierman works spontaneously, never quite sure what will appear on her canvas. Sometimes she begins with a lose sketch, but the end result rarely resembles that sketch. She always works from her imagination rather than from actual scenes or photographs. What Bierman always feels in the end is that the artwork nurtures her soul, which is her perpetual motivator. To add to that satisfaction, she receives e-mail from around the world from people who say that her artwork has moved them very deeply, sometimes on a spiritual level. This to Bierman has been one of the most gratifying aspects of her work.

Artist's Statement: My work comes spontaneously from my imagination. Although I grew up with poverty and extreme struggle, I draw on a richness from my life's experience. When I moved to Colorado and began to paint only from my mind's eye, my works began to communicate a spiritual or inner quality. Although I like to create strong shapes, fluid lines and imaginary light, I enjoy the added challenge of using the human figure in my compositions. It is important in my work that I paint intuitively, with no models or photographs to influence my inner perceptions. The figures, celebrating women in everyday life, have bare earthy feet and large caring hands. My paintings are about love and nurturing, and the celebration of life as perceived by a woman. They communicate my own yearning for tranquility and inner healing. The women may be cradling a child or washing their hair in the rain or getting solace from a cat, reflections from my own life. The large old women reflect my moods and small pauses in time. For the sake of interest and symmetry, I often exaggerate or distort lines to enhance the overall composition and character of a painting, which is far more important in my work than anatomical correctness. I apply the paint, but it is a struggle not to get in the way of the process as it unfolds. It is best if it guides me, not me guide it. I have been moving in the direction of simplification, to get closer to the essence. Influences: 16th Century Italian masters, Mexican and Mayan art, Japanese classical art. (right: The Seduction of Eve, 40 x 47 inches)

An opening night preview is scheduled on July 19 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Read more about the Bakersfield Museum of Art in Resource Library Magazine

This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 5/28/11

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