55 Orchard Street, New York, New York 10002 212 989 5467 fax 212 989 5642
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  Mel Bernstine
November 16 - December 21, 2018
 

Bernstine’s interest in emergent structures, the appearance of patterns and complexity from a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions, guides the creation of his work. The artist begins his paintings and drawings with discrete motifs. As the works progress, aspects of the process will suggest variations, leading to new discoveries and allowing compositions to emerge organically and intuitively.
 
The current exhibition is dominated by three compositional types, each an exploration of all-over patterning. Bernstine describes one type as “adjacent territories,” free-wheeling compositions of regular and irregular geometries, some rendered flat, others dimensionally, along with motifs such as checkerboards, pinwheels, diamonds, branching structures, and an occasional word. In these works, forms give way to one another in compositions suggesting aerial views of dense urban topographies or abstracted irregular jigsaw puzzles. In another type, Bernstine creates boldly-patterned, nesting angular geometries rendered in vivid colored marker on paper. In the third, he disrupts the regularity of black-and-white checkerboards with twists and warps, creating richness and complexity along with unpredictable optical effects. The high-level attention to detail and overall density of the compositions does not, however, obscure the hand of the artist, which is always evident. He notes:
 
I see my work as developing along parallel “lanes,” related to each other, each part of the larger whole. Working small allows me time to cover more ground. I feel like the sense of scale of each piece is in some ways independent of its physical size. To use a musical analogy, I feel like I work on songs, trios and quartets, not big band or orchestral. Simple procedures help keep intuition from getting stale by surprising me in the compositional process… I have the rudiments of a pattern-making procedure, but where it leads me requires constant decisions which affect the outcome….it feels like my stream of consciousness and its accompanying affect infuse the shapes or strokes. The work is not only the “esthetic-thing” but is in some way a personal story with personal symbols… Sometimes the introduction of words or a more or less recognizable object zeroes in on this aspect. The feeling I want in the end, at least subjectively, is that I have made something which is an arresting “thought-emotion thing.”

 
 
 
Think Through, 2018
Water-based pigment marker on paper
19 3/4 x 25 1/2 inches

Building an Argument, 2018
Water-based pigment marker on paper
43 1/2 x 29 3/4 inches

Nexus, 2018
Water-based pigment marker on paper
19 3/4 x 25 1/2 inches
 
Composition on the Tip of My Tongue, 2017
Posca on paper
16 1/2 x 11 5/8 inches

Clotho, 2017
Acrylic on linen
15 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches

Be and See, 2018
Water-based pigment marker on paper
16 1/2 x 11 5/8 inches
 
Feel For You, 2018
Water-based pigment marker on paper
22 x 15 inches

Shape of Experience, 2017
Posca on paper
16 1/2 x 11 5/8 inches

Fractured, 2018
Water-based pigment marker on paper
22 x 15 inches
 
Structure of a Choice, 2018
Acrylic on linen
15 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches

Untitled, 2018
Acrylic on linen
18 x 15 inches

Game Theory, 2018
Acrylic on linen
31 1/2 x 31 1/2 inches
 
Allegiance to the Whole, 2018
Water-based pigment marker on paper
16 1/2 x 11 5/8 inches

Scope of a Decision, 2017
Posca on paper
16 1/2 x 11 5/8 inches

Ghost in the Machine, 2017
Posca on mountboard
18 x 15 inches
 
Cultural Bridges, 2017
Posca on mountboard
9 3/4 x 7 3/4 inches

Dream Scene, 2017
Posca on mountboard
9 3/4 x 7 3/4 inches

Race is a Cultural Construct, 2017
Posca on mountboard
9 3/4 x 7 3/4 inches
 
Untitled, 2017
Posca on mountboard
9 3/4 x 7 7/8 inches

Sealed with a Kiss, 2017
Posca on mountboard
9 3/4 x 7 7/8 inches

Untitled, 2017
Posca on mountboard
9 3/4 x 7 3/4 inches
 
Installation view

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Installation view

Installation view

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Installation view

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Installation view

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Installation view
 
Installation view

Installation view
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55 Orchard Street, New York, New York 10002 212 989 5467 fax 212 989 5642
email info@mckenziefineart.com