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  • ARTIST STATEMENT
  • In my work, I attempt to create something that invokes an experience that is as powerful and felt to me as that which I may unexpectedly encounter in nature. The ephemeral and elemental experiences in nature serve as my spiritual guide to help explore painting as a journey of discovery as well as invention. The resulting works are fictions, existing as other, synthetic, alien, imagined worlds. Through the lens of the natural—the bombardment of technological advances and scientific imagery in daily life has impacted my understanding of self and place in the natural world. What we know and question through science changes my perception of geologic time, the biological, and the organic. Understanding the natural process—the phenomenon, the science—conjures my imagination.
  • Science, math, and technology have continually reshaped humankind’s relationship to nature. While each gives a rationale to the other, nature serves as a way for deconstruction and as a mediator. The elements of nature, in flux and change, decay and growth, become a metaphor for the process of painting. I am drawn to these elements as they transcend time and place. I desire to reach a tipping point where the natural and artificiality of the made world are in symbiotic interplay, each consuming or subsuming the other.
  • I tinker and create my own logic—often co-joining disparate impulses or my own idealized, mythological experience of the natural. The desire to sort, classify, observe, learn and question through collecting or sourcing household, building, office, natural, and consumer products, offers me a way to repurpose, reuse and recall. Like in a laboratory—systems, rules, structures, and processes inform my work. Manipulating the inherent qualities of artist materials such as puddling, pooling, staining, repelling, layering, building, accumulation, or erosion provide the matrix. Materiality and illusionistic precepts of the visual exist side by side with the hypothetical and abstract. Both the process and the resulting works are about slowing down to reveal the dialogue of the physicality and materiality embodied in the work. As a viewer looks closer, the information also unfolds and continues down to the micro-level.
  • BIOGRAPHY
  • KEVIN BERNSTEIN'S paintings and works on paper look towards the macro and micro worlds and explore the interconnectedness of man, nature, and science.
  • He received his MFA in Painting from the University of Washington, Seattle and his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. He has exhibited his work throughout the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • Recent exhibitions include a solo exhibition entitled New Works: Kevin Bernstein at The Kansas City Artists Coalition (KCAC) Charno Gallery in KCMO; “2012 MIAMI UNIVERSITY YOUNG PAINTERS COMPETITION, FOR THE WILLIAM AND DOROTHY YECK $10,000 AWARD EXHIBITION,” Hiestand Galleries (IRENE HOFMANN, Phillips Director & Chief Curator, SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico); “TARFEST 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY ART EXHIBITION, 2003-2012,” LAUNCH LA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, (Curated by Holly Harrison, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); “56TH CHAUTAUQUA ANNUAL EXHIBITION OF CONTEMPORARY ART,” Strohl Art Center Main Gallery, Chautauqua Institution, (JANNE SIREN, Director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery).
  • He has been selected for exhibitions in LA and NYC by curators such as: HOWARD N. FOX, Curator Emeritus of Contemporary Art, LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART (LACMA); SAMANTHA RIPPNER, Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints at the METROPOLITAN MUSEUM, NYC); DOUGLAS FOGLE, Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Public Programs/Chief Curator, HAMMER MUSEUM, UCLA LOS ANGELES; ALMA RUIZ, Senior Curator of MOCA – THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART LOS ANGELES. He was selected for the Ellie Wilder Award by JIM KEMPNER at the “54th Chautauqua Annual” and recently completed a Centrum Artist Residency as a recipient of Russell Jaqua Award for Artistic Excellence.
  • He is currently Associate Professor of Art and Painting Area Coordinator and serves as Graduate Painting Faculty in the Department of Art at Kansas State University.
  • Kevin Bernstein