Center Galleries, Detroit, Michigan
March – April, 2001
On Language: Text and Beyond
Excerpt from exhibition catalog:
Detroiter Joseph Bernard presents language in a purely visual context. Bernard began his artistic life as a filmmaker, making collage films in the tradition of Stan Brakhage. While he moved to painting in the mid-80s, Bernard’s work continues to evoke a celluloid experience, characterized by a film-like flicker of light across a field. In his newest work, such as Chalk Lessons, Bernard offers subtly-colored, Jasper Johns-like meditations on the properties of the text. Fractions of letters, numbers and grammatical marks mimic the pattern of language, including the pauses, breaths and hesitations inherent in spoken dialect. In an emphatically Cagean way, Bernard explains: “I am as taken with the spaces between the characters as I am with the characters themselves.”
Michelle Perron, Director - Center Galleries, March 2001
CHALK LESSONS 2001 96" x 48"