Wednesday, February 22, 2017

With An Artist's Eye

"Jasper's Other Map"
Bernard Myers
University Gallery, R.I.T.
thru March 11, 2017

In the University Gallery at Rochester Institute of Technology, we have a physical environment that welcomes the viewer of images in an unhurried atmosphere that is both spacious and filled with natural light.  Towards the back there are archives of design work by Massimo Vignelli including books and posters, and on the other side there are antique cameras.  In the main gallery space there is a stunning show of large scale photographic prints made on matte paper held in place by magnets.  The textures and the look of these prints by Bernard Myers are so tactile, they look like they usher in a new era of clarity and desire.

Print by Bernard Myers

Bernard Myers was a graduate of R.I.T. years ago, with a background not only in photography but also in printmaking.  The colors are so clear, you might as well be looking at the actual thing- rather than a selection from reality.  A viewer gets to experience this art form without the traditional barrier of a frame and glass, and the reflections that would certainly come along with it - that often distort our experience of the art.

"Severance" by Bernard Myers

When you visit this show which is titled: "Bernard Myers: Dividing Line - Peru, Urban Renewal and Worlds in Between" - on view until March 11, 2017, you will see groups of images, some in black and white ( like "Severance" above ) and some in color - and they resemble the paintings of Gerhard Richter of Germany.  The prints are so alive that the color pulls you in first, and then you can register the details of these wall posters that have been gouged and scratched like some vital abstract expressionist canvas.

Bernard Myers

Tall in format, there is on view a series of prints featuring tall buildings and urban architecture, and the reflections and divisions of space in the built world of the modern city.  Here once again the colors are clear, though there are some distortions and deliberate duplication of textures and mirror effects.  These images are a bit less provocative, they don't have the mystery of some of his other images.

Bernard Myers at  University Gallery, R.I.T.

In particular, I liked the image of the fruit sellers' stall - seen from behind a screen. The idea of a permeable layer through which we view a scene is repeated also in the print on a back wall of a green landscape seen through a mossy screen porch.  The visceral effect of the screen through which we view the imagery is a casual metaphor here that is very effective, not over-wrought.

The selection and hanging of these beautiful prints, only makes me want to see more, and I can also recommend the beautiful books that contain his photos for sale at the desk.  This is an artist who is having a terrific time with his medium, and I can highly recommend it.