Material Gestures is the title of this exhibition of George Bernede at Whitford Fine Art. I have never seen these paintings before so when I received the catalogue I contacted the gallery right away to go see them and learn more of the artist. But first the paintings, I was taken by the "gestes", the expressionism of this work, reminding me of Motherwell or Kline, but different, very different, but then still in the genre of expressionism.
I like paint and I like to see brush strokes, color thrills me, when I see them all together composed on a canvas I find it satisfying, beautiful. These are beautiful paintings, lyrical and full of movement.
One is often tempted to look for something figurative in an expressionist painting, sometimes it is there. However, I find to appreciate them one needs to stand back and see the composition, the arrangement of the space and it is then you see the balance, the forms, the rhythm.
A beautiful use of Prussian blue with white, black and a little of ultra marine.
When I was was in the gallery looking at the paintings, I stepped back to admire the composition and then realized Bernede titles each painting "Composition 91" or "Composition 92", good titles, they are well composed. Another aspect of these paintings are their size, all measure about 2' x 3' or 65 cm x 100 cm. A very workable size for interiors, it also allows you to hang them in series of 2's or 3's so you get the idea of a painters imagination.
I learned from Renata, the gallery director, George Bernede has been living and working as artist in the region of Bordeaux since 1946, this is his first exhibit outside France. We are lucky to see these paintings and I recommend this exhibit, it is on at Whitford Fine Art, on Duke Street St James, until 14th October.