Monica Bernier: Recent Work

  1. Bowery is proud to present Monica Bernier’s exhibition entitled,  Recent Work: An American Desertscape and an East Coast Suburban Swimming Pool.  The show runs April 23 – May 18, 2019.   This blog features Bernier’s insights into her painting practice and  process:
Monica Bernier - 1.Bernier_Desert_72dpi
Arches Landscape, gouache/cut paper, 30″ x 22″, 2018

“My recent work is the result of a kind of exuberance and pleasure in the experience of two vastly different landscapes. In one case the enormity of the desert west and the objects within it resulted in a desire to contain that vastness and make it personal. Perhaps this impulse comes from living my life in an urban canyon where color range is narrowed. By contrast, the desert’s evening sun produces burning oranges set off against crystalline blues. The geology is rarely just grey”.

Monica Bernier - 11.Bernier_Pool_72dpi
Connecticut Pool III, gouache on paper, 42″ x 30″, 2018

“There was a similar impulse derived from a daily swim in a suburban pool where turquoise, various greens and pinks peripherally impressed themselves on my eyes. At night the same pool lit from within displays a glowing green with the surrounding space disappearing into deep darkness. In this case as the eyes adjust to the contrast, greens, violets and blues begin to appear out of the blackness. I wanted to get these sensations into my paintings”.

Monica Bernier - 3.Bernier_Night-Pool_72dpi
Night Pool VI, gouache on paper, 35½” x 28″, 2018

“The perceptual experience of the artist is a tricky thing and color is a wide-ranging and personal pursuit. How it interacts to create form and depth or how it might be forced to the surface can be a question of choice but most often is a matter of exigency”.

Monica Bernier - 12.Bernier_Pool_72dpi
Pool Study I, gouache on paper, 12″ x 12″, 2018

“My practice of doing abstract collage is a factor in all my work. The use of collage and cutouts has allowed me to better explore the dynamics of pure color relationships. The range of expression that color can evoke is of great interest to me. From subtle neutrals to screaming lumi pigments color can function much like the scope of sound in music or the voice in theater. Cutouts have also allowed me to play with pure shape relationships and explore their dancing interactions”.

Monica Bernier - 7.Bernier_Pool_72dpi
Connecticut Pool II, gouache/cut paper, 30″ x 42″, 2018

“The analytical process of drawing is also critical to my practice. How does one enter a space through a flat surface? What is the structure of an object in that space? Drawing often precedes painting and always happens in process”.

Monica Bernier - 10.Bernier_Rocks_72dpi
Joshua Tree Rocks, gouache/cut paper, 30″ x 22″, 2018

“Whether it is external, internal or both, subject matter is of primary importance. In this show it was the product of two experiences, the first an extended trip across country to see the western deserts and the second a summer spent swimming in an east cost suburban pool. These two subjects seem to counterpoint each other in a compelling way”.

Monica Bernier - 8.Bernier_Arches_72dpi
Arches Rocks II, gouache/cut paper, 16″ x 20″, 2019
Monica Bernier - 5.Bernier_Pool_72dpi
Connecticut Pool IV, gouache/cut paper, 22″ x 30″, 2018

Monica Bernier’s second exhibition at Bowery Gallery runs from April 23 – May 18, 2019. The artist will be present for an opening reception on Thursday, April 25, 5 – 8 PM.  Bernier will give a talk about the work with painters Naomi Nemtzow and Rita Baragona on Saturday, May 11, 4 – 5 PM at the gallery.  ALL ARE INVITED.

For further information and images of the works in the exhibition please visit our website at  For additional images and information visit



Bowery Gallery

 530 West 25th street, 4th floor,

NY, NY 10001

Gallery hours are 11am to 6pm Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, please contact the gallery at 646-230-6655 or

**excerpts from Monica Bernier’s statement.

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