Robin L. Bernstein: Beauty and Terror, Part 2
September 22 - October 30
Opening Reception. Saturday, September 24th, 1-4 pm
Artist’s Talk, Saturday, October 15th at 2 pm
Transmission Gallery Oakland again presents challenging work for challenging times in Beauty and Terror, Part 2, comprised of eight recent pieces, including 7 from Beauty and Terror, Bernstein’s 18 piece series memorializing little known events of the Holocaust, a powerful reminder and timely warning of the savagery human beings are capable of. Beauty and Terror, Part 1, originally shown at Transmission Gallery in 2019, will be on view at Vargas Gallery at Mission College in Santa Clara from October 3rd through November 8th.
Regarding the exhibition of the work, Bernstein says, “The good news is that political art and art around themes of social justice continue to find audiences, and the makers are not jailed, exiled, or dead!”
The show is “a magnificent commemoration of the Holocaust, exhaustively researched, visually compelling and emotionally cathartic. The eighteen “string paintings” — eighteen will be the final number of pieces in the series, symbolizing ‘life’ in Jewish numerology — are affecting on several levels: as a pure aesthetic experience; as an intellectual and emotional catharsis; and as a demand that such horrors never recur. Bernstein’s deep dive into history informs her resplendent commemorative plaques, replete with putti, banner inscriptions, and simulated Baroque frames. They rescue history from oblivion.”
– DeWitt Cheng
Please join us for the Opening Reception, Saturday, September 24th from 1-4pm. Greet the artist and enjoy the light refreshments on our outdoor deck. Events are free and open to the public with free street parking nearby.
Mark your calendar for Bernstein’s Artist’s Talk, Saturday, October 15th starting at 2pm.
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 of Beauty and Terror, an 18 piece series, then becomes viscerally apparent. A paragraph of text accompanies each piece, retelling the horrific act of violence and terror that the artwork memorializes. Each is an example of how people will behave under set conditions. Many of these particular pieces refer to lesser-known Holocaust crimes as well as redemptive stories and heroic acts of resistance. Much of the string that is used is vintage and originated in Europe. Other work carries urgent contemporary content. Each piece is composed of thousands of tiny cut pieces of string that have been pressed into a bed of wax that has been brushed onto cut plywood. Each work takes between 4 and 6 months to create.
About The White Rose: Despite anti-Nazi speech being relentlessly prosecuted by the Gestapo (German State Secret Police) a group of University students formed The White Rose, a nonviolent intellectual resistance group. They wrote, printed, and distributed 15,000 leaflets advocating nonviolent resistance in denouncing persecution, the mass murder of Jews, and the end to the war. 7 core members, most in their early 20s, were executed by guillotine in 1943. Across the world, The White Rose has come to symbolize opposition to tyranny and a fight for freedom.
For further reading www.smithsonianmag.org