Beauty and Terror: Robin Bernstein
Jun 7 — Jul 20, 2019
Check gallery website for hours and additional info
Transmission Gallery is pleased to present Beauty and Terror, a solo exhibition of work by Robin Bernstein.
At first glance, these artworks defy a clear medium and process. They appear to be embroidered or woven, made of mosaic, painted, or sewn. The colors are rich and the forms are attractive. They are “beautiful”. The viewer is inclined to step very close to examine the surface. The subject matter then becomes viscerally apparent. A paragraph of text accompanies each piece, which retells the horrific act of violence and terror that the artwork memorializes. Each piece is an example of how people will behave under set conditions. Many of these particular pieces refer to lesser-known Holocaust crimes. Much of the string that is used is vintage and originated in Europe. Each piece is composed of thousands of tiny cut pieces of string that has been pressed into a bed of wax. Each work takes between 4 and 6 months to create.
Bernstein’s work presents us all with the opportunity to address the past, acknowledge what we are capable of as humans and forge a future where we move forward aware and conscious of the possibilities so we can work together to prevent these horrors. In recent days this seems ever more imperative and vital to our opportunity to understand each other and live in safe community with our neighbors.
Robin Bernstein was born in St Louis, Missouri into a family that had not one artistic bone between them all – going back many generations. Luckily, music was played and encouraged, laying the groundwork for creative expression not involving words or numbers,
Bernstein studied in St Paul, Minnesota, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois and San Francisco, CA, before settling in Emeryville and Canyon, CA. She earned her MFA in Painting and Drawing but soon discovered wood construction and wood-carving (combining the carvings with thin cut sheet metal, obsessively hammering thousands of tiny escutcheon pins). The process of pressing string into wax came to her as she prepared a group of schoolchildren for an international trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, learning about the Huichol Indians and their spiritual practices.
Robin’s current subject matter combined with her artistic technique is her way of shouting from the rooftops: those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it (human behavior being highly predictable). Robin and her husband have two children, now young adults.
Beauty and Terror will show concurrently with The Russian Connection, featuring oil paintings with a political point of view by Mac Mechem.
All are invited to the Opening Reception on Friday June 7th from 6-9 pm in conjunction with the Oakland Art Murmur First Friday Art Walk. The artists will be on hand to discuss their work. Light refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public.