Miriam Beerman

Image of artist Miriam Beerman in her studio

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 (born in 1923)