Collage, acrylic, watercolor, words
The tricky thing about those working in collage is it’s about the process. With Rosalind Brenner, it’s exorcising an outpouring of expression, influences, memories, results and impact. The compositions are not attempts to reconstruct memories, they’re entry points. “What’s inputted reality and what’s real? …Maybe that’s what’s happening for me when I’m working. I become very connected with flow. It’s not something that I’m planning, but I’ll see something emerging… and then I enhance them.” Each piece is an exploration and each stroke is a reaction to the things being explored. Her memories are fingerprints on her consciousness and those inform where each work goes.
“I’m just painting—something comes over me. Hard to say, because it’s not conceptual. I’m not trying to paint concepts or ideas for the most part. I’m exploring, playing, experimenting. That’s what I do.”
And then there’s the color. The possibility that these works are derivative of stained glass is evident. The colors are loosely composed and may be applied instinctively, but each owns its space and the vivid strokes become sure fitted color fields that add dimension to the panels. The artist’s extensive experience developing stained glass parlays into this and new works are showing evidence of her history tactually—she’s applying glass directly on top of the paint, adding yet another layer of texture and dimension.
For Brenner, poetry is the starting point. She may use pieces of her own text to break the canvas and the development of each piece harnesses its own poetic lyricism. Still, she maintains it’s about the process, though the effect matters “…when the observer can step into the painting or the collage, it almost becomes like theater or performance art. I’m not doing it for my audience. I’m doing it because I must. But if someone responds to it in that way, that’s completion.”
As an artist she’s sending invitations out into the world and leaving the front door open for us to come in.
Rosalind Brenner will be exhibiting in “Body of Work XI,” July 19-20, 780 Springs Fireplace Road, East Hampton. rosalindbrenner.com
photos by deborah feingold