AMY BERNSTEIN // a lover's race

On view January 5–January 30, 2017
Opening reception Sunday, January 8 (3–5 p.m.)

Within today’s heightened political climate, day-to-day life often feels compelled by an underlying sense of urgency. Complicated, ever varying desires constantly muddle both our values and self-worth. The resulting sensation of privation, of living within a void, nurtures in turn a ceaseless anxiety. This anxiety begets profound pressure, which begets further anxiety, and the race goes on and on. However, despite this entropic cycle, there remains a certain beauty to our flawed existence.

The paintings on view for Amy Bernstein’s upcoming solo exhibition at Nationale, A Lover’s Race, reach at this heart within the chaos. Blobs of random colors drift alongside both weighty geometric shapes and squiggly brushstrokes. Textures transition without apparent logic from flat, glossy sheens to thick, scratchy coatings. All the while, the backgrounds of each canvas remain a pure white. This tabula rasa effect lends such abstract scenes an almost mystical presence. Like figures floating through space, upended by the loss of gravity, Bernstein’s groupings dance with an unconscious grace. It is within this instinctive choreography that the seeming disorder of each individual element reveals a collective harmony. Through the communicative power of her brush, Bernstein exposes the dazzling rhythm of our humanity, the inspiring beat that tethers us all.

Hailing from Atlanta, GA, Portland-based artist and writer Amy Bernstein received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2004. Her work has been exhibited in Portland at Nationale, The Art Gym, the Littman Gallery, Portland State University, Car Hole Gallery, Worksound, Carl & Sloan Contemporary, and PMOMA as part of TBA at Houseguest. She has received grants from Creative Capital and the Warhol Foundation in 2010 and from the Regional Arts and Culture Council in 2012. She joined Nationale as a represented artist in the summer of 2015.

Sight Unseen gallery feature by Jill Singer
The Artists Resist, Megan Burbank, The Portland Mercury


All images courtesy of the Artist and Nationale (Portland, OR)
Photos @Mario Gallucci Studio

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