Chandeliers, lights and shadows surround Edward Bernstein’s retrospective exhibit at the Grunwald Gallery of Art.
“Almost Illuminated” opens Friday with a gallery talk at 5:30 p.m. and will remain on display through Feb. 14.
The exhibit features Bernstein’s art from his career as an artist and
“There are different bodies of work that he’s created over 40 years or so,” Grunwald Gallery director Betsy Stirratt said.
Bernstein completed his graduate work at IU in 1973 and returned in 1991 to teach at the Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts.
He taught at the school until his retirement in 2013.
A large portion of the exhibit shows different chandeliers in varying perspectives to accompany its theme.
Bernstein said his inspiration for these pieces came from his work in Venice, Italy.
“When I was over there teaching, I saw these things and thought they were gorgeous,” Bernstein said. “When you get close to them they become very different, like you’re in this whole new world.”
The chandelier pieces were made using a variety of media, including sketches, prints, photographs and digital work.
Stirratt said Bernstein is primarily a printmaker, but he also has experimented with sculptural works during the course of his career.
Another area of Bernstein’s exhibit comes from the time he spent in Brazil as a visiting scholar.
After visiting poor areas of the country in 2012, he said he was inspired by the people who lived there and created a variety of pieces based on them.
One large piece is a tapestry constructed of more than 350 images of the people and their village. In front of the images, Bernstein welded a painted chain-link fence.
“It’s the idea that between the rich and poor, there is a huge divide,” he said. “The idea that chain link keeps you out of something and in some ways keeping them from going somewhere better.”
A retrospective exhibit, “Almost Illuminated” shows work from Bernstein’s entire career and serves as a representative sample of his art.
The unifying theme of illumination is inherently present, Stirratt said.
“I think for art students it might be nice to see how one theme can be pushed so far,” said Amanda Fong, PR assistant at the Grunwald Gallery. “You can see his thoughts come out in the same way, and he deals with a lot of the same subject matter.”
Stirratt said attendees will recognize Bernstein’s commitment to his art.
“They get to see a broad range of work by someone who’s been a dedicated artist for over 40 years,” Stirratt said. “For students to see that dedication, that lifelong devotion to something, is important.”
Follow reporter Alison Graham on Twitter @AlisonGraham218.
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