Miriam Beerman: Collage 1965-2008

February 6 - April 2, 2020

Miriam Beerman

I have spent most of my life creating images that are responses to the brutality of our time. I am reminded constantly of the world's injustice. It weighs upon my mind and body. Therefore, I seek the beauty and the vigor of the paint and the poetry that inspires the act of painting.

Human or animal forms are usually somewhere in my work. They are the angels and demons of an inner perception and they re-enact the past as well as presage the future.

In 1986, I painted seven of the ten Biblical Plagues. They were painted with tremendous urgency to express those ancient afflictions, which I had thought about for years. I saw these archaic themes as being part of present themes. The plagues brought down upon the pharaoh and the Egyptian people returned in various guises. They were the Holocaust, Hiroshima, and the threat of nuclear disaster which could come upon us suddenly without warning.

My early years and an abstract expressionist are still imprinted in later work. The physicality of the medium helps create ideas. Forms emerge out of the thickness of the paint. The painting has its own life, describing a meaning that isn't specifically planned. Automatic gestures lead to the emotional intensity of the idea and, strange as it may seem, there are suggestions of comic relief. As in the Theatre of the Absurd, the tragic and the comic go hand in hand.

- Miriam Beerman

Artist Website

About the Exhibit

Miriam Beerman's paintings are both anxiety ridden expressionist works rooted in the tradition of Abstract Expressionism and history paintings probing her political and personal heritage. She is a contemporary maker of painterly power objects, imbuing the paint with profound psychology as well as beauty. Her subject has been the arena of the human condition whether expressed overtly with imagery evoking genocide or abstractly through the call and response of process.

Beerman is a colorist, giving color the significant force of her involvement in 20th century devastation. Her surface is stippled and organic. She creates objects which are crafted with care and emotion in the long process of attaining the final image assuming great importance.

These works are serious paintings offering a lifetime of contemplation, stimulating a depth of thought. Beerman has contributed to the contemporary involvement in art being a political tool to alter consciousness.