Bowery Gallery in Chelsea is proud to feature the work of artist-members in this space. Each week we are highlighting another artist and/ or upcoming show .
Monica Bernier’s large scale paintings were exhibited at Bowery gallery in January , 2016.
Bernier’s show included not only her recent paintings but, also, the drawings that led up to this body of work. The drawings were displayed in a comic book called “Visitors”. It consisted of 70 pages of line drawings done with ink and brush in various sequential cells. The themes comprise a stream of consciousness narrative.
From Visitors book, 12” x 9”
For a “visitor” to the gallery it was a curiosity and yet a great treat to peruse this book. Funny things going on ……And then one realizes that the book provides the inspiration for many of the paintings in the gallery.
For the paintings, Bernier recombined cells from the book, enlarged them and infused the images with explosive color. The resulting large scale paintings are like murals……. some measuring up to eight feet wide.
Monica Bernier, Visitors IV, gouache, 36” x 91”
The story behind this new work is a fascinating look at the influences and working methods of an accomplished artist.
In the mid 2000’s Bernier had been working on a series of large abstract ink line drawings that had a cartoonish quality and a sense of sequenced action in them. In 2009 she visited an exhibit at the Japan Society in New York City called “Krazy! The Delirious World of Anime + Manga + Video Games”. Bernier was fascinated by one artist in particular, Yuichi Yokoyama, who created beautifully designed line drawings in wordless sequenced cells of varying shapes. Her comic book, “Visitors” was influenced by Yokoyama’s work in the show .
“Inside Out”, Monica Bernier, 2005
Bernier says, “This gave me the idea that I could take my large drawings in a similar direction by creating an abstract wordless comic book. Although my comic book did not follow a conventional plot line and chronology, they did have a dreamlike narrative or stream of consciousness ranging subject matter. From 2009 onward I worked on this book. At a certain point I felt the need to develop these images in color, however I was not motivated to express the color within the scale of the comic book. Hence I started to use some of the ideas within the comic book in large-scale paintings”.
“ The concept of sequenced events also brought to mind the Renaissance convention of the predella panel used as an extension of the altarpiece and consisting of related events. In their use of simultaneous interior and exterior space, invented architecture and landscape I recognized similarities to the ideas that I had been exploring. I then started to consciously utilize certain conventions in some of the paintings.”
“Saint Nicholas Providing Dowries”, Bicci di Lorenzo, ca 1435
“Capta Luna”, Monica Bernier, 45 x 94 inches, gouache, 2014
For further information and images of works that were in the Bernier exhibition, please visit : www.bowerygallery.org.
For additional images and information visit www.monicabernier.com.
BLOG HOST: Diane Drescher www.dianedrescher.com