Neuberger Museum of Art
Purchase, New York
Robert Berlind: Paintings (1892 - 1996)
From June 14 through September 6, the Neuberger Museum of Art features Robert Berlind: Paintings 1982 - 1996. This traveling survey of Berlind's paintings was organized and is being circulated by Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio. The accompanying catalogue includes essays by Irving Sandler and Leon Golub as well as notes by the artist. The catalogue is offered for sale in the Museum Store.
Berlind's work is based upon direct studies done on-site. These small, painterly works are concerned with light, various natural phenomena such as water and foliage, often seen at distinctive, disorienting angles, and their translation to a two-dimensional surface. These studies are points of departure for the large paintings, which elaborate or distill their imagery. Berlind's poetic and painterly art provides the opportunity to distinguish between mere looking and insightful seeing. The still, calm reflective surface of a Berlind stream or pond, as depicted in Dark Water (1990) and Umber Water, Last Leaves (1995), provide occasions for reconsidering our visual experience and the unpremeditated possiblities it may afford.
Irving Sandler writes, "What is the content of Berlind's painting? Acts of perception of the here and now. Contemplation...Epiphanies . Anti-linear thinking or ego-less, oceanic experiences evoked by water or night. Love of nature. Nature as Sublime. Ecological concerns. A dialogue with or perhaps glosses on Delacroix's oaks in Saint Sulpice or Cezanne's pines or Alex Katz's magnified branches of trees. Subjects in motion as metaphors of life. Unstable and fugitive images as tragic, symbols of death, melancholia, emotional instability. Provocations to metaphysical questioning about what can be known. Instability evocative of poetic ambiguity. The expressiveness of flowing paint itself. Berlind's paintings have embodied all of them at one time or another."
Leon Goiub writes, "These are landscapes in acknowledged intimate entry into nature but also landscapes of a larger realm of possibility, that of a very sensuous immediacy that crosses borders of recognizability, surprise and openness."
Following its presentation at the Neuberger Museum of Art, the Berlind exhibition moves to The Picker Art Gallery at Colgate University in Hamilton, NY, September 13 through November 8, 1998.
Top to bottom: A Bridge, 1995, oil on linen, 48 x 96 inches; Dark and Bright in May II, 1996, oil on linen, 56 x 96 inches
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