Joseph Bernard


Paintings by Joseph Bernard 

Herr-Chambliss Fine Arts

Hot Springs, Arkansas

August 5 – September 30, 1993


Catalog Essay


Joseph Bernard’s glimmering paintings, as seen from a distance, have the presence of icons, breathing rectangles that open like chambers onto a sacred heart. Up close, measuring out a pulse, are things we would find under-foot or airborne – film left on the editing room floor, stranded seaweed, pollen sacs en route, colored dustings – all afloat in an amber resin, all dancing one way or another in the exquisite balance of afterlife.

There is an almost monastic concentration about these works, Bernard as a scrivener of seeds and filaments, spices, pods, and feathers, as one who finds mastery and a strict sense of order useful in the search of implausible truths. This, then, is the craft of an obsessive and beautiful soul intent on bringing the ephemeral materials of his world into view for higher contemplation.


Judy Metro, Senior Editor - Yale University Press