David Bermant Foundation the past, present and future
March 18th at 10:00am PST // 1:00pm EST
COLOR, LIGHT, MOTION
"Organic Machines: Nam June Paik's Cyborg Poetics"
COLOR, LIGHT, MOTION is an online series featuring media artists and scholars in dialogue about artworks from the Bermant Collection of media and kinetic arts. Each featured presenter will discuss selected artworks in history and context and in relation to their own work and connections. This series is produced in collaboration with Harvestworks NY and the David Bermant Foundation.
Nam June Paik, Charlotte Moorman wearing Chroma-key Bra, 1971. University of California San Diego Archive, Artstor Image Library.
Anuradha Vikramis a writer, curator, and educator born in New York and based in Los Angeles. They are co-curator of the 2024 Portland Biennial and guest curator of the Getty Pacific Standard Time Art and Science exhibition Atmosphere of Sound: Sonic Art in Times of Climate Disruption (2024–25) at UCLA Art Sci Center. Recent curatorial projects include Jaishri Abichandani: Flower-Headed Children at Craft Contemporary, Los Angeles, Swept Away: Love Letter to a Surrogate at Guild Hall, East Hampton, New York, and eX-aMEN-ing Masculinities with LA Freewaves at Los Angeles State Historic Park in 2022.
Vikram’s book Decolonizing Culture (Sming Sming Books, 2017) helped initiate a global movement to decolonize arts institutions and monuments. They have written for art periodicals and publications from Paper Monument, Heyday Press, Routledge, and Oxford University Press. They are an Editorial Board member at X-TRA and an editor at X Artists’ Books.
Vikram is faculty in the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture. They hold an MA in Curatorial Practice from California College of the Arts and a BS in Studio Art from NYU.
Paik/Abe Video Synthesizer, 1969-72. University of California San Diego Archive, Artstor Image Library.
Nam June Paik, TV Bra for Living Sculpture, 1973. University of California San Diego Archive, Artstor Image Library.
Nam June Paik, Magnet TV, 1965. Exhibited at Holly Solomon Gallery, Fall 1999. Larry Qualls Archive, Artstor Image Library.
Simon Leung is an artist and Professor of Art at the University of California, Irvine. His projects include an opera set in Griffith Park; a trilogy on the residual space of the Vietnam War; site/situation specific works centered on the squatting body; and meditations on Duchamp, Smithson, Poe, and Kant. Click Here to Learn More >>
Foundation director Bess Rochlitzer with Executive director of Butler Institute Dr. Louis Zona visited the Butler museum to see how the collection gifted to the museum was installed. She was very pleased with the new home for these historic works!
The David Bermant Foundation: Color, Light, Motion was established in 1986 with the mission to encourage and advocate experimental visual art which draws its form, content and working materials from late twentieth-century technology. The working materials include physical sources of energy, light, and sound. The resulting artworks question and extend the boundaries of the visual arts. To learn more about The David Bermant Foundation and its collection, visit the foundation website DavidBermantFoundation.org.
The Lasso, Alejandro and Moira Sina, 1997
Thomas Wilfred- "Lumia"
Susan Hopmans feeling the NanoMandala projection on sand by Victoria Vesna at the Bermant foundation gallery.
Clavilux Junior, First Home Clavilux, Thomas Wilfred, 1930
The collection of 98 works valued at several million dollars includes pieces created by many of the pioneers of technologically based art such as Marcel Duchamp (above image), Nam June Paik, Jenny Holzer, Jean Tinguely, Pol Bury, George Rhoads, John Deandria, James Seawright, and dozens more.
David Bermant was one of the most admired collectors of avant-garde art in the United States. His collection of kinetic art includes works which employ both virtual motion as well as actual motion. Art which utilizes video, holography, magnetism, electronics, robotics, chemistry, and various types of light provide a look into the fourth dimension.
The late David Bermant was born in New York City and grew up in Manhattan. In January of 1941, six months after graduating cum laude from Yale University at age 21, he joined the U.S. Army. He ended his army career as a major of artillery in Patton’s Third Army, earning a bronze star with an oak leaf cluster for his actions. In 1947, he married Ruth Jesephson, and later divorced after 46 years. They had four children: Ann, Jeffrey, Wendy, and Andrew. David then married Susan Hopmans and established homes in Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez valley where he created and maintained facilities to house a large and significant art collection.
David had two great interests: building shopping centers — on the East Coast and in California — and collecting art. Technological art was his favorite because it utilized modern science and technology and was more dynamic than other art that just hung on the wall Bermant felt that such art should be shared in public spaces other than museums and galleries. He established and funded the David W. Bermant Foundation: Color, Light, Motion to ensure the art form most dear to his heart would thrive beyond his lifetime.
Indestructible I, George Rhoads, 1970
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